BERLIN – Two new studies have disclosed state-sponsored violence directed at the Baha’i religious minority in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Ahmed Shaheed, UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, announced the findings of his report last week in Geneva. According to his report titled “On the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Shaheed found “that 110 Baha’is are currently detained in Iran for exercising their faith, including two women, Mrs. Zohreh Nikayin (Tebyanian) and Mrs. Taraneh Torabi (Ehsani), who are reportedly nursing infants in prison. It was further estimated that 133 Baha’is are currently awaiting summonses to serve their sentences, and that another 268 Baha’is are reportedly awaiting trial.”The UN report noted “members of the Baha’i community are reported to continue to be systematically deprived of a range of social and economic rights, including access to higher education. Informed sources have reported that authorities from three different universities expelled five Baha’i students in November 2012.”