Nevada Representative in Support of Iran’s 7 Baha’i Leaders (Letter Excerpt)

Aug 18, 20100 comments

Reno4Iran activists received a letter from Nevada Representative Dean Heller regarding the persecution of Baha’is in Iran. An excerpt of the letter (which was typed and snail-mailed originally) is below. Thanks to all those in positions of power that continue to voice their concerns for the people of Iran and pressure the IRI to adhere to its international human rights obligations.

“As [I’ve] mentioned before, the Iranian government is an oppressive regime that withholds basic liberties from it’s citizens.  The persecution you mentioned involving members of the Baha’i faith is horrible and must end.  As you may know, in 2006 Iran’s Armed Forces Command Headquarters ordered the Ministry of Information, the Revolutionary Guard, and the Police Force to identify members of the Baha’i Faith in Iran and monitor their activities.  In that same year, the largest roundup of Baha’is took place since the 1980’s.  The Iranian Interior Ministry ordered provincial officials to “cautiously and carefully monitor and manage” all Baha’i social activities.  The Central Security Office of Iran’s Ministry of Science, Research and Technology ordered 81 Iranian Universities to expel any student discovered to be a Baha’i.

“In 2007, the situation worsened.  More than two thirds of the Baha’is enrolled in universities were expelled once identified as Baha’is.  Police entered Baha’i homes and businesses to collect details on family members.  Twenty-five industries were ordered to deny licenses to Baha’is.  Employers were pressured to fire Baha’i employees and banks were instructed to refuse loans to Baha’i-owned businesses.  In November 2007, three Baha’i youths were detained for educating underprivileged children.  The following month, the Iranian Parliament published a draft Islamic penal code, requiring the death penalty for all “apostates”- a term applied to Baha’is and any convert away from Islam. “Again, this government-sponsored religious and political persecution must end.  Every Iranian should be able to live without fear of religious, political, and economic persecution in Iran.  The Iranian government should ensure policies are enacted that would protect the freedoms of all of its citizens…I look forward to working to ensure both political and religious liberties are promoted within Iran.”