Persecution of Baha’is in Iran

27 August 2013

Members of Iran's Baha'i community continue to face systematic persecution at the hands of the Iranian regime.

In the Islamist dictatorship, the state clergy is one of the main bodies responsible for incendiary conduct and murder. Once again, a Baha'i has been assassinated in Iran. Before the murder, a cleric had rallied against the Baha'i, and soon afterwards the fanatical mob responded.

Seemingly unremarkably, Ataollah Rezwani was killed. There is no evidence, only indications. And the judges cover up the killers. Rezwani died just like many others who have disappeared or been found murdered in the last three decades. Why? Because they are not Muslims, but Baha'i.

Ataollah Rezwani was a Baha'i. He lived in Bandar Abbas, a city on the Persian Gulf in southern Iran. On Saturday 24th August 2013, he was kidnapped and murdered with a shot to the neck. As Reza Haqiqatnejad writes in IranWire, it is not the first time that a Baha'i has been kidnapped and executed. Also Iraj Mehdinejad, who lived in Bandar Abbas, is reported to have been stabbed to death.

Rezwani owned a small business together with a Muslim. They sold water pumps. Rezwani had been expelled from university in the wake of the Islamic Cultural Revolution, and had not been able to complete his engineering degree.

In February 2013, the Ministry of Intelligence of Bandar Abbas instructed the city's water works not to buy any pumps from Ataollah Rezwani, and to cease all trade with him.

Rezwani was also a socio-political activist and helped in a group with two other Baha'is to organize and carry out social projects. These were social projects aimed at the development of the community.

In the city, even among the Muslim population, Rezwani was known as a good person who wanted to help people. All the more to render him a thorn in the side of the state clergy. For example, employees from the imam's office had directly instructed Rezwani and other Bahai to leave the city voluntarily. They were threatened with consequences if they decided to stay. Some of Ataollah Rezwani's acquaintances were arrested in the past few years solely because they have a different belief than Islam.

Alongside the Iranian intelligence authorities, the office of Imam Qolamali Naim Abadi is also particularly distinguished as anti-Baha'i. For example, a group of Muslim fanatics raided the medical practice of Dr. Meydani, also Baha'i, after the imam had preached against the Baha'is. Meydani was seriously injured with stab wounds. He narrowly escaped death. Meyad Afschar was also recently attacked and seriously injured. RuhollahRohani, another Baha'i, was purposely run over by a car.

This shows that following the election of the new President Hassan Rohani, the systematic persecution of the Baha'is has not diminished.


The original article is available here in German..