UN Official on Religious Freedom Expresses Fear for Baha’is in Iran

March 20, 2006

Source: Baha'i International Community Press Release


On March 20, 2006 a Baha'i International Community Press Release reported, "Representatives of the Bahá'í International Community reacted with alarm today to a United Nations official’s statement about actions of the Iranian government against the Bahá'ís in Iran. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Asma Jahangir, stated that she was highly concerned and expressed her apprehensions in a press release posted today about 'a confidential letter sent on 29 October 2005 by the Chairman of the Command Headquarters of the Armed Forces in Iran to a number of governmental agencies. 'The letter,' she said, 'which is addressed to the Ministry of Information, the Revolutionary Guard and the Police Force, states that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, had instructed the Command Headquarters to identify persons who adhere to the Bahá'í faith and monitor their activities. The letter goes on to request the recipients to, in a highly confidential manner, collect any and all information about members of the Bahá'í faith.' 'We are grateful that Ms. Jahangir has brought this activity to light,' said Bani Dugal, the Bahá'í International Community’s principal representative to the UN. 'We share her concern for the welfare of the Bahá'ís and shudder to think what this might mean. Because of the unprecedented character of the government’s action, we are addressing a request to the Ambassador of Iran for an explanation.'"