[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Jaras

[Date:] 6 Esfand 1393 [25 February 2015]

 

Resumption of Threats Against Baha’i Citizens

Jaras: These days, numerous printed ads about Baha’is have been posted on doors and walls in the Tehran metro, which are easily visible. This propaganda and the sudden arrest of 14 Baha’is in the last two weeks in Isfahan and Tehran show a new wave of pressure on this group and its followers.

According to Jaras, based on what is said in these propaganda ads, the Baha’is are a sect fabricated by imperialist movements, which, during all these years, have sought to spy on and change the culture and religion of the Iranian people, especially the Shiites. These advertisements can be seen in most metro stations in Tehran. This is occurring while [simultaneously], programmes about this group and its [Baha’i] followers are broadcast extensively and continuously on various television networks. The subject of all these programmes is the same as what is stated in these advertisements: [that the Baha’is promote] “sectarianism, espionage and immoral behaviour”.

A Baha’i citizen said, “I was shocked to see this sign at the Jomhouri Metro Station. I did not expect that we would get treated like this.” The 31-year-old woman, who introduced herself as Faranak, adds, “Although we have been faced with very violent and insulting treatment all these years, and we should have somehow expected the level of violence to increase, these advertisements scare us. They raise the question, ‘What do they want to do with us, after all these pressures and imprisonments?’”

According to this report, more than 130 Baha’i men and women are currently in prison, the most prominent of whom are the seven Baha’i leaders in Iran who have been sentenced to 20 years in prison, and now they are serving their seventh year. After them, there are the officials, administrators, and professors at the Baha’i university of Iran, who also serve between three and five years in prison. These individuals are in prison on charges of setting up a special Baha’i university. It should be noted that Baha’i youth have not had the right to study at public universities in the Islamic Republic for more than 30 years.

Although some [progress was] made during Khatami’s presidency, this process did not continue, and with the coming to power of Ahmadinejad’s government, the pressure and abuses of their [Baha’is’] citizenship and social rights have deepened and increased.