Faiths combine forces over Baha’i human rights in Iran

On December 20, 2018 a Baha’i prisoner was released from prison in Iran after 10 years.

Afif Naeimi, centre, with supporters in Tehran after his release.
Photo: Baha’i World News Service

Afif Naeimi and six colleagues once comprised an informal leadership group of the Baha’i community – Iran’s largest and most persecuted religious minority. They were arrested on May 14, 2008 and after several months of solitary confinement and interrogation, they were jailed for 10 years.

With Australia’s Baha’i community leading the way, Australian Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Sikh leaders repeatedly came together to pray for the seven and call for their release, as did Australian MPs, journalists and artists.
The first prisoner was released in October 2017 and the last on December 20, 2018.

But the persecution of Baha’is in Iran continues with over 80 currently in prison. They are prevented from attending university or working in the public sector, while a fatwa by Iran’s Supreme Leader says Baha’is are unclean and advises Muslims to avoid dealing with them.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies stands with the Baha’i community in demanding that Iran respect the human rights of its Baha’i community and permit them to practise their faith in safety.