Monday, 21 July 2008

Our Analysis Of The Persecutions Continues...

Court Judgements Handed Down

In March 2008 an unusual turn of events came to light in the appeal court of the province of Hamadan. They overturned the guilty verdicts against four Bahá’ís of Hamadan. These four Bahá’í men had documents, computers and books confiscated during searches of their homes, and had been wrongfully imprisoned under often testing and trying conditions had been found guilty of “teaching against the regime”. The four were released on bail following their arrests and had been appealing the ludicrous judgement that had been passed against them. In addition to being sentenced for an unknown period of time, one of the men had been sentenced to exile to Khash. The appeal court ruling in March 2008 stated that in view of the appellants’ claim that not only are they not against the government, but they are also absolutely obedient to it; teaching the Bahá’í Faith cannot be regarded as teaching against the regime. The document goes on to state that taking into account the example of the Prophet and His Pure Imams who urged kindness towards all people, it is the court’s verdict that the appellants are innocent of the charge of teaching against the regime.Women Imprisoned

Three women from Ghaemshahr: Ms Simin Gorji, Miss Mina Hamran and Mrs Sima Rahmanian Laghaie were sentenced to 5 months imprisonment on the charge of “propogation on behalf of an organisation which is anti-Islamic”. Two of the three women have been released from prison after their sentence had been served, however Mrs Laghaie’s fate remains unknown whilst she continues to remain in prison. The fact that Bahá’í women are facing indignity of incarcerated is a particularly disturbing matter. This type of action is prevalent throughout Iran.

Attacks Against Bahá’í School Children

Should the detention and incarceration of women not be sufficient, the cruelty and oppression also extends to innocent children. Bahá’í children and youth continue to be subjected to harassment, vilification, and ill-treatment at all levels, from primary through secondary and pre-university classes. In one such instance, an extra-curricular activities teacher stated to the class that she was teaching that Bahá’ís “are on the path of error” and further asserted that “they are unclean, dirty, and repugnant.” An eleven-year-old Bahá’í child who was participating in the class activity raised her hand, but the teacher did not allow her to speak. At the end of the class she approached the teacher and said, “I was born in a Bahá’í family and for twelve years I have lived in a Bahá’í home. My parents take showers and I see no uncleanness in them. I have not noticed anything that you have uttered.” The teacher responded with disparaging statements about the Bahá’í Faith and as the child attempted to defend the Faith, the teacher stated, “You will all end up in hell!” When the pupil’s mother raised objections about this to the school principal, the principal responded that she was free to take her daughter elsewhere, finally suggesting that the parents visit the Ministry of Education. The parents did so and were told by the deputy director of extra-curricular activities, “We have given instructions to all the schools and especially the extra-curricular activities teachers—in view of the initiatives being taken by the other side [referring to the Bahá’ís] and the way they have been gathering strength—to do research and to educate the school children on this topic with accuracy. They need to bring awareness to the pupils so that, God forbid, they will not go astray and fall into their [the Bahá’ís’] trap. We have heard that they [the Bahá’ís] are passing out booklets and CDs. This country is an Islamic republic, and should anyone oppose us we will counter their efforts.” He emphasized that the teachers had been directed to utilize accurate and authentic material as written in Bahá’í books and repeatedly stated, “This [the Bahá’í Faith] is not a religion; it is, rather, a cult.” At the end of the meeting he confirmed that he had instructed the teachers to deal with the Bahá’í Faith in this way and stated that these activities would continue in the future.

No comments: