Sadly the most recent statement made by the Bahá’í International Community to the United Nations Human Rights Council indicates that the Bahá’í community, amongst others, is as far away as ever from attaining equal rights as law abiding citizens of Iran. Below is an extract from the news article: for the full post see link.
GENEVA — Iran’s limited and conditional acceptance of just two out of ten recommendations made by other governments about its ongoing persecution of Baha’is today suggests there will be no significant change in government policy in the near future – and a bleak outlook for human rights generally in Iran.
“The sad reality is that Iran has largely refused to accept recommendations made by the international community that it end discrimination against Baha’is, offering instead to the Human Rights Council only token concessions on the issue,” said Diane Ala’i, the representative of the Baha’i International Community in Geneva.
She noted that Iran gave only partial acceptance to two recommendations that specifically mentioned Baha’is in its response to October’s Universal Periodic Review at the Council, rejecting completely the other eight.
“Other governments in October offered some very strong and significant recommendations about how Iran could end its systematic persecution of Baha’is, but Iran has walked away from them almost entirely, accepting only two in a limited and conditional manner,” said Ms. Ala’i.
“Based on this – and their past record of failure to live up to recommendations made at the 2010 UPR – we doubt there will be any improvement in the near future for Baha’is, who are persecuted in Iran solely for their religious beliefs,” said Ms. Ala’i.
In a statement read today to the Council, Ms. Ala’i observed that during the October UPR, “Mr. Javad Larijani, the head of the delegation, claimed that Baha’is ‘are dealt [with] under the so called citizenship contract’ and ‘enjoy all the privileges of any citizen in Iran,’ and that ‘they have professors at the university’ and ‘students at the university.’
“But recently Ayatollah Bojnourdi, who was one of the drafters of the Charter for Citizenship Rights, publicly said: ‘We never say that Baha’is have the right to education; Baha’is don’t even have citizenship rights!’
“This is the sad truth of the reality in Iran,” Ms. Ala’i told the Council.
Ms. Ala’i expressed the hope that, in its desire to prove to the world its oft-stated respect for the Universal Periodic Review, Iran will begin with the easy step of allowing Baha’is unrestrained access to higher education, a development that would be in line with the two recommendations it has partially accepted.