In this interview Baha'i news point to all events that happened in Iran last year with Diane Ala'i representative of the Baha'i international community in United Nations and Geneva, and in this dialogue they look to pattern of international organisations and Iran reactions about those organisations. In the past few days the Nation Human Rights Council has held a meeting in Geneva, and like all past years Iran condemned for human rights violations against Baha'i citizens by representatives of the the Baha'i community in the world and representatives of the others country. But always Iran are acquitted all of charges.Morteza Esmailpour dealt with all cases in his interview with Diane Ala'i.
How was the treatment of Baha'is in Iran last year, compare to years before?
Unfortunately, we have to say that despite the promises made by Mr. Rouhani regarding equal treatment of all Iranian citizens, the situation of the Bahá'ís has worsened in the past year. We have seen in increase in the number of closure of shops owned by Baháís and confiscation of other means to earn a living. 77 Bahá'ís are currently imprisoned solely because of their beliefs, including the seven Bahá'í leaders (modiran) the Yárán, who will soon complete their 8th years of imprisonement and have, to date, not been allowed furlough. Bahá'í youth are still denied access to higher education, cemeteries are still being bulldozed and we have been witnessing an increase of attacks and incitement to hatred against the Bahá'ís in state sponsored media.
The attacks against Baha'i citizens have increased in the government based and Iranian news websites. What seems to be the reason behind these attacks?
It is difficult to understand why anyone, and even more so why a government would spread falsehoods and incite to hatred against anybody, particularly against its own citizen. The aim is to create an atmosphere of hatred against the Bahá'ís where crimes against them can be committed in all impunity and provide justification for any and all human rights violations. It also tries to ostracise the Bahá'ís within the Iranian society. We also see this pattern in the injunctions made to Bahá'ís by the authorities not to associate with Muslims. However, Bahá'ís are witnessing more and more support on the part of Iranians of all walks of life, and this is a clear sign that many Iranians are not buying into these slanders.
The Human Rights Commission convened in Geneva, few days ago and many countries questioned the IRI's treatment of the Baha'is in Iran. Do you believe these talks will have an effect in the treatment of the Baha'is in Iran?
Absolutely. The Iranian government is very concerned by its public image and it is therefore very important that a clear signal be maintained that the international community remains concerned about the fate of the Bahá'ís.
Even if the situation has not improved, as mentioned previously, we believe that if it were not for this attention, the Iranian authorities may well redouble what is already an unacceptable pattern of human rights violation against members of this community.
During the recent Human Rights Commission meetings, did The IRI's Representative have any responses to Ahmad Shaheed's reports about the treatment of the Iranian Baha'is?
Not directly in their oral statements, however, the Iranian representatives have repeated their reference to their respect of "divine religions", which is a clear exclusion, in their eyes, of members of the Bahà'í Faith. However, in his report Ahmed Shaheed has quoted the response of the government whereby their deny, for example, the very well-known fact that Bahá'í youth are denied access to higher education. They state that there are Bahá'ís in universities in Iran, and it is correct, but what they fail to indicate is that these student are immediately expelled once it is found out that they are Bahá'ís.