Baha’is In Iran: Cultural Genocide

A poster published by human rights supporters depicting BIHE staff members detained in Iran

I am shocked by the campaign of cultural genocide pursued by Iranian authorities against the Baha’i community in Iran. The latest phase is an attempt to destroy community educational programmes set up because Baha’i youth are excluded from state-run institutions. BWNS reported on the 22nd May that

A coordinated series of raids have been carried out on the homes of several Iranian Baha’is, active in a community initiative to provide a higher education programme for young members who are barred from university. Initial reports indicate that raids took place yesterday on houses in Tehran, Karaj, Isfahan, and Shiraz. As many as 30 people may already have been arrested…All of the targets were homes of individuals closely involved with the operations of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education…The Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) was established in 1987 as a community initiative to meet the educational needs of young Baha’is who have been systematically denied access to higher education by the Iranian government. The BIHE has been described by the New York Times as “an elaborate act of communal self-preservation.”



One thought on “Baha’is In Iran: Cultural Genocide

  1. “Crimes against Humanity” is defined as, “Murder; extermination; torture; rape; political, racial, or religious persecution and other inhumane acts reach the threshold of crimes against humanity only if they are part of a widespread or systematic practice.”

    Crimes against humanity and human rights violations, (such as false imprisonment and denial of gvt services/education), are the types of systematic violations that the United Nations was setup to act on. Iran is already in disfavor with the International community, but that does not mean that stronger sanctions cannot be imposed.

    I am not Bahai, but I have taken up a cause to fight for freedom of belief – a freedom guaranteed by the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Section 18.

    My best wishes to the Bahai’s in Iran.

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