[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

 

Press Release

From the Baha’i Community of Iran

 

Based on a circular issued by Dr. Manafi, minister of health of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to all offices under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, effective 1 Bahman 1359 [21 January 1981], thousands of Baha’i physicians, nurses, medical assistants, technicians and staff employed by the Ministry of Health and its subsidiary units will be, and have been, terminated nationwide.

As stipulated in this circular, mere belief in the Baha’i Faith is authorization to dismiss people who are part and parcel of this nation from their employment, while according to Notes 9 and 14 of Article 2, as well as Articles 23, 22, 20, and 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the people of Iran have equal rights, are equal before the law, and all the people of the nation enjoy the same protection under the law; their dignity, life, property, rights, residence and occupation are safeguarded from violation, and investigation of beliefs is prohibited. In a questionnaire which was distributed after Mr. Manafi’s circular among the Baha’i employees of the Ministry of Health, inquiries are made about the religious belief of the employees, their family members, their assets, etc.

This collective dismissal is happening while the country’s urgent need for physicians and other specialists in this field is more evident than at any other time, to the extent that non-Iranian doctors are being hired.