FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AIFD Calls on People of Conscience to take action to stop the crimes of the Iranian Islamist regime perpetrated against the Bahai minority community.
- Specifically, AIFD condemns a recent ruling by an Iranian court to endorse the confiscation of all property belong to Bahais in the Mazandaran Province’s Village of Ivel, as well as a decision by an Iranian Court of Appeals that ruled in favor of 11 perpetrators who destroyed and seized the property of roughly 50 Bahai homes in Ivel.
- On August 1, 2020, Tehran’s Special Court for Article 49 of the Constitution, which gives authority to the government to confiscate private property, issued a “final and binding” order, concluding that it was illegal for Bahais to own property in the Village of Ivel. This ruling confirmed the decision of the lower court, which wrote, on November 4, 2019, that “there is no legitimacy in their ownership. […] The perverse sect of Baha’ism is confirmed as heretical and nejasat [ritually unclean].”
- On October 13, 2020, in a separate but related lawsuit, the Court of Appeals of Mazandaran Province ruled on a years-delayed appeal brought by 27 injured Bahais against 11 individuals involved in the June 2010 demolition of some 50 Bahas homes and seizure of their property in Ivel. The Court ruled in favor of the perpetrators, finding that their actions violated no laws, and cited the August 1, 2020 decision of Branch 54, which claimed that ownership of the property by the 27 plaintiffs lacked legal validity due to their membership in the Bahai Faith.
- These unjust rulings constitute brazen discrimination based on the religious beliefs of Bahai families, many of whom have owned these properties for decades, as far back as the mid-1800s. These specific injustices against the Bahai minority only highlight the multi-generational nature of the supremacist Islamist terror regime of the Khomeinists in power since 1979 which has systematically oppressed and wiped out dissenting, minority views within Islam or outside Islam via their ruling Islamic Supreme Council of clerics (their mullocracy).
- Past confiscations of Bahai property in Iran have occurred largely due to alleged technical violations of zoning rules or construction permits. The courts were usually careful to conceal, at least in their written opinions, the discriminatory motives behind their decisions. However, these recent decisions targeted the Bahai religion, and thus are potentially precedent setting in that they could be used as criteria to dispossess, displace, and impoverish Bahais throughout the country.
- The AIFD calls on the American government and the greater international community to take action by increasing pressure and sanctions on Iran and by demanding the return of property to their rightful owners in the Bahai community.
- The open and ongoing persecution of Iran’s indigenous Bahais, a community that constitutes the nation’s largest religious minority, has yet to be adequately addressed by the international community. Under Iran’s theocratic regime, the Bahais are denied access to education, imprisoned for teaching the Bahai faith, and forbidden to work in any profession. Their holy places have been bulldozed throughout the country and, in some locations, replaced by mosques. Members of the Bahai faith are routinely subjected to violence, torture, discrimination and arbitrary arrest. Some 200 members have been hanged since the 1979, Islamic Revolution. Iran’s state-sponsored media regularly spreads anti-Bahai propaganda, including conspiracy theories accusing them of spying for Israel.
- With the additional report recently released by the United Nations, which exposes Iran’s shocking use of electric shock therapy, hormone injection, and strong psychoactive medications on LGBT children in order to “cure” their sexuality, AIFD urges international medical associations and conferences to forbid Iran’s participation in such forums. A government that publicly stones and hangs its citizens based on their sexuality, imposes the death penalty for those who engage in same-sex relations, has executed between 4,000-6,000 members of the LGBT community since the start of the revolution, and tortures its own children, should be grounds for its complete expulsion from international scientific and humanitarian affairs.
- These recent actions against the Bahais and LGBT community should remind American Muslims and all Americans that the Iranian regime is an ideologically corrupt entity that does not respect religious freedom or the fundamental rights of its citizens, whether women, regime critics, the LGBT community or ethnic and religious minorities. The Iranian government must be held accountable for its abounding human rights violations.