World Media

Summaries and excerpts of recent coverage concerning the persecution of Baha'is in Iran in the global news media

Iran intensifies persecution of the Bahá’ís
Deutsche Welle — 24 September 2012 — Germany

“The medals won by Iranian athletes at the Olympic Games in London in 2012 was impressive. With a total of 12 medals, including four gold, Iran ranked in the top quarter of participating countries. It could perhaps have been more — but to be a professional athlete is not sufficient in Iran if you belong to the ‘wrong’ religious group. This was the case of judoist Khashayar Zarei. In his age and weight class, the 19-year-old is one of the best in Iran. But participation in international competitions is denied him by the Islamic Republic because Khashayar Zarei belongs to the Bahá’í Faith. Now he has been excluded because of his religion from studying architecture at the University of Shiraz…”

Iran’s Neo-Apartheid
Frontline — 14 September 2012 — USA

“Having grown up with the indignities of the apartheid system in South Africa,” writes Professor Winston Nagan, “I bristle whenever I hear anyone equate a government’s treatment of a portion of its citizenry to apartheid. Usually, the claims are exaggerated. But in Iran today, the government’s treatment of the Bahá’í community bears striking similarities.”

Iran and human rights: a new landscape
Open Democracy — 9 September 2012 — United Kingdom

“Iranian government officials and state-sponsored media routinely accuse groups they dislike of committing crimes and posing security threats,” writes Omid Memarian. “Over many years, such charges rarely have proven true, yet Iranians have also tended not to challenge these narratives. Today, a cultural shift is visible, as discussions within civil society about human rights increasingly contest the old, dominant perceptions.” A notable trend, for example, is the marked rise in Iranians’ discussion of previously taboo topics such as the Bahá’í Faith.”

Iranian documentary filmmaker exposes Bahá’ís’ plight
Screen Comment — 2 June 2012 — USA

“Iranian documentary filmmaker Reza Allamehzadeh has exposed the plight of Bahá’ís in Iran with a new documentary called ‘Iranian taboo.’” writes Ali Naderzad. “Adherents of the faith have been persecuted by the Iranian Islamic Republic because they are considered un-Islamic. Banned from Iran himself (but not a Bahá’í) Allamehzadeh enlisted the help of friends in the country who recorded footage clandestinely.”

World calls for unconditional release of Iranian prisoners of conscience
Gold Star Daily — 11 April 2012 — The Philippines

“The plight of Iran’s seven imprisoned Bahá’í leaders has been capturing the public’s attention in 12 of the world’s major cities, where a day of action marked the combined total of 10,000 days that the seven have so far spent in prison.”

The Plight of Iran’s Bahá’ís
Frontline — 1 June 2012 — USA

“I spent two and half years of my life unjustly imprisoned in Iran,” writes Kamiar Alaei, who with his brother was running a public health program for people with HIV/AIDS and drug addicts. “I’m fortunate I was released in the fall of 2010. But for my former cellmates, members of Iran’s imprisoned Bahá’í leadership group, freedom has proved elusive.”

Tehran against the Bahá’ís, a cultural genocide
Corriere della Sera — 24 May 2012 — Italy

“‘A cultural genocide perpetrated with widespread indifference.’ This is how Nobel Peace Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi defines the repression carried out by Iran’s Ayatollah regime against the followers of the Bahá’í religion, which for years has continued to grow more severe... Unlawful seizure, dozens of arrests, dozens of disappearances, unpaid pensions, vandalized or destroyed cemeteries, prohibitions on hiring Bahá’ís, incitement to hatred by mullas, burned homes, blocked access to university for those who do not claim to be Muslim on admissions forms, coercion of students to recant their faith, which they refuse to do, with the result that young Bahá’ís are banned from pursuing a higher education…”