PULSE BRITISH MEDICAL NEWSPAPER, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 1981
PERSECUTION IN IRAN
The medical press has given much coverage to the plight of the British medical missionaries imprisoned in Iran, and rightly so. At the same time, there are other doctors facing persecution at the hands of Muslim extremists in that country. If we are to be true to our profession we cannot ignore them simply because they are Iranian nationals rather than British, and of another faith, Baha’i rather than Christian. The Baha’i community is Iran’s largest religious minority, over 300,000 strong, and since the Islamic Revolution it has faced worsening oppression.
An example of what is going on took place on January 12 when Professor Manouchehr Hakim was gunned down in his Tehran consulting rooms. He had been receiving threatening phone calls and three days before his murder had been interrogated at length by revolutionary guards. This man was the first holder of the chair of anatomy at Tehran University, and his books are still standard text for teaching in Iran.
Professor Hakim’s “crime” was that he was a prominent member of the Baha’i community and had served for 30 years as director of the Baha’i Hospital in Tehran. This institution cared for all regardless of religious affiliation, and the needy were treated free of charge. It has been seized by the new authorities and is now the “Mustafa Khomeini” hospital.
Dr. Iain Palin Londonderry.