News

Iran: A Baha’i shot dead in Bandar Abbas (NCR- Iran – Aug 27th)

NCR-Iran reports on the death of Ataollah Rezvani, a Baha’i in Iran: “According to reports, on the night of the incident, he was returning from a party. His murderers who were waiting for him in his car took him to the Railroad Street where shot him in the head. Residents in cars passing by found Rezavini’s body while nothing had been stolen from his car.” The article notes that other members of Rezvani’s family have also been arrested for their Baha’i faith.

Murder of Mr. Ataollah Rezvani was religiously motivated (Baha’i World News Service – Aug 27th)

More information has emerged on the mysterious killing of Iranian Baha’i Ataollah Rezvani, whose body was found in Bandar Abbas. According to Baha’i World News Service, “It is understood that Mr. Rezvani was shot in the back of his head and that his body was found in his car near the railway station on the outskirts of Bandar Abbas, the city where he resided with his family. Information received thus far points to the possibility that his assailants had forced him to drive to that location. His body was discovered following a search when he failed to return home.” During his life and work as a water purificstion expert, Rezvani often recieved threats from local officials and intelligence agents.

Opinion

Ali Mamouri: Khamenei’s Controversial Fatwas (Al-Monitor – Aug 18)

“In another section of these fatwas, a hostile view is adopted toward Iran’s Baha’i community, wherein any association with them has been deemed unlawful, and the Baha’i faith has been labeled false and misguiding. A number of Iran’s Baha’i followers are in prison, their only crime being a follower of this religion. Some have even been executed for the same crime in the past.

These fatwas of Khamenei have been issued as other Shiite authorities, in the hope of eliminating prejudice against the Baha’i community, have recently issued humanitarian and tolerant fatwas regarding the Baha’i. Also, a short while before Khamenei’s fatwa was issued, Mohammad Nourizad — one of the best known figures of the Green Movement —  visited an Iranian Baha’i household. By kissing the foot of a Baha’i child, Nourizad apologized for the long history of cruelty toward them. The parents of this child are Baha’i prisoners of conscience.”

 Winston Nagan: A chance for change in Iran (The Washington Post – Aug 21st)

“Religious freedom may be the most important front in the struggle for human rights in Iran, for it is the freedom that most deeply challenges the regime’s vision for an ideologically homogenous theocracy.  Each of these lawyers defended religious minorities, and Ebadi, Soltani, Sotoudeh, and Parakand defended members of the Bahá’í Faith, Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious minority. Baha’is have been a favorite target of the regime and are routinely arrested and imprisoned. Since January 2011, the number of Bahá’ís in prison has doubled, from roughly 56 to 112, and the number awaiting trial, appeal, sentencing, or the commencement of their sentences increased from roughly 230 to 435.”