Hivos partner Justice for Iran calls on international bodies to sanction violators of Bahá’i rights

March 12, 2013

Justice for Iran (JFI),  a London-based human rights organisation, and Hivos partner since 2010, is calling on international bodies – specifically the European Union, the U.S. government, and all countries committed to the promotion of human rights – to use political and diplomatic means to pressure the Islamic Republic to end the persecution of Bahá’ís.  JFI has also urged world authorities to sanction individuals in Iran who have been directly involved in the gross violation of the rights of the Bahá’is.

JFI’s comprehensive report released on 10 March states that Shiite clerical authorities in Iran operate under the assumption that the Bahá’í faith is not a religion but rather a ‘cult’ or ‘political doctrine’. They use this argument to justify the denial of the fundamental rights of the Bahá’ís.

The report also provides information on severe rights violations that the Bahá’i community as a whole has been facing in Iran for more than five decades and profiles 15 Iranian official and semi-official rights violators.

Executive Director of JFI Shadi Sadr states, “This is the first time that a rights organisation has investigated the perpetrators of systematic violations against the Bahá’i community. However, the perpetrators are not limited to the individuals listed in this report. This is an initial list, and we will continue to identify more violators until the state policies on persecution of Bahá’is are replaced by their recognition as a religious minority entitled to basic human rights.” Furthermore, JFI has urged United Nations bodies to consider impunity of rights violators as a cross cutting issue in Iran.

The Hivos Rights and Citizenship programme invests in programmes and partners – such as Justice for Iran – that strive for free and fair elections, strengthen the role of women’s leadership in politics and empower minority groups to participate in political processes.