Persecution intensifies as former Baha'i leaders mark anniversary behind bars

The detention and conviction of these and other Baha'is is a reflection of the oppression facing all Iranians who desire freedom and the progress of their country, said the Universal House of Justice in a letter dated 11 May 2012 sent to the Baha'is of Iran.

In its message, the Universal House of Justice noted how the intensifying cruelty towards the Iranian Baha'i community is now also engulfing children. Among recent attacks, the letter highlighted the confinement in prison for a few days of a two-year old boy with his mother, the beating and burning of the hand of a school pupil by her teacher after the girl did not take part in congregational prayers, and the violent abduction by officials of a mother before the eyes of her two young children.

"From schoolchildren to the elderly, from the seven former leaders to ordinary villagers, no Baha'i in Iran is spared the cruel and calculated persecution which the Iranian government and its agents are constantly devising," said Diane Ala'i, the Baha'i International Community's representative to the United Nations in Geneva.

The seven former leaders have been given the longest sentences – 20 years each – of any of the prisoners of conscience currently held in Iranian jails, Ms. Ala'i added. "Conditions are harsh with poor food and bad sanitation and most of them have ex... >>>

recommended by Ali Najafi