THIRD PARTY: Screening – The Baha’is of Iran
Organised by BBC Persian.
Followed by a Q&A with:
The films producers; Kasra Naji, Special Correspondent BBC Persian and Rozita Riazati, producer for World Service News and Current Affairs;
Dr Naz Ghanea, lecturer in International Human Rights Law, Kellogg College University of Oxford;
Drewery Dyke, Amnesty International Iran researcher.
In 2010, BBC Persian’s Kasra Naji and Rozita Riazati set out to focus attention on the plight of Baha’is in Iran; their goal was to help Iranians understand the Faith and to shed light on the extent of persecution suffered by its members in Iran. The persecution of Baha’is in Iran dates back to the Faith’s creation in the 19th century. In hopes of stamping out the religion, Iran’s the Shi’a clergy have regularly issued edicts designating Baha’is as enemies of God.
Since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, however, attacks on Baha’is in Iran have increased in intensity. The Islamic Republic’s three-decade history has seen many Baha’is incarcerated and executed. On 14 May, 2008, members of an informal body that oversaw the needs of the Baha’i community in Iran were arrested. Several times postponed, their trial finally began in January 2010 behind closed doors.
In August 2010, they were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. On 30 June 2010, the day the BBC Persian documentary Baha’is in Iran was first broadcast, 50 houses owned by Baha’is were demolished in a village northeast of Tehran – driving home the stark reality of the persecution suffered by Iranian Baha’is.