Iran Press Watch translation
HRANA News Agency – A three day poster design workshop was held in Shiraz with the aim of inciting hatred against the Baha’is. This coincides with the start of another wave of security and judicial pressure on Baha’i citizens in various cities of Iran.
According to the HRANA news agency, the news service of the Association of Human Rights Activists in Iran, from December 15 to 17, 2021, the Visual Arts Festival (Moqaddas Nama) held a poster design workshop. and cartoons aimed at inciting hatred against followers. of the Baha’i Faith. This workshop, organized by the Moghadas Nama Secretariat and the Revolution Poster Secretariat and the Association of Designers of the Islamic Revolution (Beit,) specifically attacks the religious beliefs of members of the Bahá’í community through the poster design and graphic work. This program is part of the Iranian government’s ongoing campaign against the Baha’i community, which has routinely and systematically violated Baha’s citizenship and human rights over the past four decades. Participants in the Anti-Bahá’í Poster Workshop receive millions of prizes.
The anti-Bahai measures implemented by the Iranian regime deprive the citizens of Baha of their basic human rights, leaving members of this community without a means of defending themselves through the country’s official media. Baha’i citizens are liable to imprisonment or temporary detention simply for being of the Bahá’í faith and practicing their faith.
Among the people involved in the organization of this anti-Baha’i workshop are Hojjatoleslam Amir Hossein Kamel Nawab (president of the political council), Seyed Mohammad Reza Miri (secretary of the posters department), Mehdi Yeke Pesar (president of the jury), Mohammad Reza Doost Mohammadi, Seyed Mohammad Reza Miri, Alireza Khakpour and Seyed Mehdi Hosseini. The program website includes the participation of the Supreme Head of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Shiraz, the Mayor’s Office of Shiraz and the Arts of Fars Province also participate in this event.
Padideh Sabeti, spokesperson for the Baha’i international community in London, told HRANA: -Baha’i propaganda. The Bahá’í community is recognized throughout the world as a community in the active service of humanity. Over the years, the Iranian government has provided no evidence of the charges it has leveled against the Bahá’ís. Unfortunately, the methodical dissemination of false information and hatred is one of the tools used by the Iranian government to discredit the Baha’i community. The Iranian government has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and is committed to protecting its citizens from religious hatred. Instead, the government itself incites such hatred.
She added, “In the end, these lies are just the story of the lying shepherd and will damage the reputation of the Islamic Republic itself, both in Iran and on the international stage. In our experience, a large number of our Iranian compatriots have always concluded through their fair and independent investigations that none of these allegations against the Bahá’ís are true and they express more than ever their love and support for the Bahá’í community.
As stated above, the anti-Bahá’í activities of government agencies are not a new experience for Bahá’í citizens. The television has also been used in programs such as “Like the Moon” with Resalat Bouzari, broadcast on Channel 3 of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to broadcast propaganda and incite hatred of the Baha’is. .
By the way, Bouzari, the host of the show “Like the Moon”, provoked great protests after insulting a disabled guest on this show.
The animosity of the security agencies and the government towards Bahá’í citizens is unprecedented. Among the measures taken is the dissemination of numerous anti-Bahá’í books at the Tehran Book Fairs. In recent years, the Tehran Book Fair has often been a venue for promoting violence and incitement to hatred against Baha’i citizens through the presence of books targeting various schools of thought. The publishers of these books depend mainly on government budgets or religious institutions.
This is in violation of article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to dissent without interference and to seek, receive and disseminate information and ideas through all media and regardless of frontiers; in the form of education, practice, worship and observance, and no one has the right to insult and attack another person because of differentiation and differences of opinion.
Skylar Thompson, head of foreign relations for the Association of Human Rights Activists in Iran, said: “It is unfortunate that the Iranian government, instead of fulfilling its duty to promote mutual respect and freedom of thought and religion in society, spreads hatred. The spread of hatred against Baha’i citizens who have been subjected to double oppression and discrimination for decades is the continuation of a frustrating situation regarding the accountability of the Iranian government.
Ms Thompson called on the Iranian government to not only stop such programs, but stressed that “hate speech is a direct attack on the core values of human rights, human dignity and nobility. such as tolerance, love and respect which aims at peaceful coexistence in society. In the face of such actions, governments, civil societies and the media must act together against hatred. “
Baha’i citizens in Iran are deprived of the freedom to practice their religious beliefs. This systematic deprivation of liberty occurs while article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights confer on all individuals the freedom of religion and belief as well as the freedom to express it individually or collectively and in public or in private.
According to unofficial sources, there are over 300,000 Baha’is in Iran, but the Iranian constitution only recognizes Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Zoroastrianism and does not recognize Baha’i Faith. For this reason, the rights of the Bahá’ís in Iran have been systematically violated in recent years.