Naw-Ruz; the Persian and Baha’i New year is Spent in Prison!!

Wishing the Baha'is of Iran a most happy Naw-Ruz specially to our Haft Shir (YARAN) in prison

Wishing the Baha’is of Iran a most happy Naw-Ruz specially to our Haft Shir (YARAN) in prison

 

Naw-Ruz is the beginning of the Baha’i New Year and celebrated by all Baha’is around the globe with joy and fellowship. The Baha’is of Iran feel a cloud spread over their Naw-Ruz celebration as many of their Baha’i friends and family members are spending their Naw-Ruz in the dark corners of Islamic Republic Regime prisons year after year.

Vernal Equinox in Northern Hemisphere is marked as the beginning of the calendar year in two major solar calendars of the world. One calendar is the Jalali calendar which is regarded by countries such as Iran as their national calendar. According to Jalai calendar, the 365 days 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 second solar year is divided into 12 months with months of 30 days in spring and summer, months of 31 days in fall and winter and the last month of the year called Esfand, is only 29 days. As we know the solar year to be exact is 365 days, five hours, 48 minutes and 56 seconds which is very difficult to be divided into any numbers to keep the calendar stable and safe from fluctuation. This is specially important for any sort of record keeping including scientific data. The new year in Jalai calendar is designated as the vernal Equinox, the first day of spring which is called in Persian Naw-Ruz meaning the new day. At present according to Gregorian calendar we are in March 20, 2014 and in Jalali calendar 29 of Esfand in the year 1392 . Iranians all over the world celebrate Naw-Ruz with all the joy and preparation that comes with the coming of spring. The video bellow by one of the celebrated Iranian folk music groups Rastan is a beautiful assortment of different ethnic groups celebrating Naw-Ruz in their local music.

 

The other major calendar that celebrates its new year at the time of vernal Equinox is the Badi or Baha’i Calendar

The Baha’i Calendar is considered to be the most accurate and stable solar calendar dividing the solar year into 19 months of 19 days each, which makes 361 days and the remaining numbers is placed between the last month Ola and the month before it. These 4 extra days and in leap years 5 days are called Intercalary days or Ayyam-I-Ha (days of five) and time for celebration, gift giving, fellowship and good will. The names of the months in Badi Calendar are attributes of God such as Splendor, Glory, Beauty, Grandeur, Etc.

Baha’is from all over the world from many ethnic and religious background celebrate Naw-Ruz as their New Year with great joy after finishing a 19 days of fast.

Naw-Ruz is specially a time of joy for Baha’is of Iran who have been celebrating the dawn of the new day from the inception of Baha’i Faith in 1844 and are delighted that Naw-Ruz has been celebrated by all Iranians for centuries and with deep cultural roots. The whole country takes a new and nostalgic look and sounds and smells of the new year and beauty of spring is budding in every branch, every flower and every heart.

Since the beginning of the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran and systematic persecution, killings and imprisonment of the Baha’is of Iran and banning of the Baha’i students from attending university, Naw-Ruz has become a bitter sweet time of the year. Several hundred Baha’is are spending their Naw-Ruz in prisons of Islamic Republic Regime away from the embrace of their families and friends. We like to specially remember them in our hearts and prayers. The video bellow brings into mind the faces of these shining examples of resilience, peace, love for humanity, oneness of all humanity, justice, freedom for all, and harmony of religion and science to be brief.

بیادبود و بزرگداشت عزیزانی که در نوروز 93 در جمع ما نیستند

I like to remember this Naw-Ruz with the special message and greetings of Naw-Ruz to the Baha’is of Iran from the Universal House of Justice, international governing counsil of the Baha’is of the world.
پیام نوروز ۱۳۹۳

نوروز ۱۳۹۳

یاران و یاوران باوفای جمال اقدس ابهی در سرزمین مقدّس ایران ملاحظه فرمایند

تحیّات خالصانه و تبریکات صمیمانهء خود را به مناسبت فرارسیدن نوروز فیروز و آغاز بهار دل‌افروز به یکایک شما خواهران و برادران عزیز روحانی و به کلّیّهء مردم شریف ایران تقدیم می‌داریم.  اخبار خوش استقبال پرشور جوانان برومند آن سرزمین از پیام مورّخ ۹بهمن ۱۳۹۲این جمع و پویایی جامعهء اسم اعظم در مهد امر الله موجب نهایت سرور و حبور این مشتاقان گردید.  در آستانهء سال نو دست شکرانه به درگاه خداوند بی‌مانند بلند می‌نماییم که الحمد لله شما دل‌دادگان روی جانان علی‌رغم ظلم و ستم فراوان و محدودیّت‌های بی‌پایان در مسیری گام برمی‌دارید که آرزوی حضرت عبدالبهاء برای احبّای عزیز ایران بود:  “…جمیع شب و روز به آنچه سبب عزّت ابدیّهٴ ایرانست پردازند و در تحسین اخلاق و آداب و بذل همّت و مقاصد ارجمند و الفت و محبّت و ترقّی و اتّساع صناعت و زراعت و تجارت سعی بلیغ و جهد عظیم مبذول دارند.”  در اعتاب مقدّسۀ علیا موفّقیّت بیش از پیش شما عزیزان را در میدان خدمت مسئلت می‌نماییم.

[امضا:  بیت العدل اعظم]

Happy Naw-Ruz to you all

Keyvan

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A Seldom Used Force of Luke Sky Walker

خانه پدری – علیرضا نوریزاده ونامه دختر ۷ ساله بهایی به دادستان from Ensan Doost on Vimeo.

The voice of this 7 year old girl is such a soothing, haunting and touching music, I kept wanting to go back and hear it again. It made me convinced of a power we seldom use in transforming the human civilization and heart if there is any humanity left in it. If it is true that the judge was moved to free her mother, humanity might have hope. This hope saves us all from having to become a Dart Wader in order to be with the force.

Much power to the meek and peaceful Baha’is of Iran. For the sake of goodness in the world, I hope they never surrender to the Dart Waders attacking them day and night.

Keyvan

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Seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders send letter to President Rouhani

yaranBaha’i World News of Baha’i International Community reports.

NEW YORK — The seven imprisoned Iranian Baha’i leaders have written a letter to President Hassan Rouhani, commenting on his proposed “Charter of Citizen’s Rights.”

During his campaign for election earlier this year, President Rouhani promised such a Charter, saying it would aim to end discrimination on the basis of race, sex or religion.

A draft version of that Charter was posted to a government website in Persian on 26 November 2013, giving Iranian citizens 30 days to offer comments on it.

The text of the letter – signed by the seven, whose names are Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm – is given below in its entirety.

The seven are currently more than five years into 20-year prison sentences on wrongful charges related solely to their religious beliefs and practice, the longest sentences of any current prisoners of conscience in Iran.

Translation of a letter from the former Yaran to the President of Iran

Your Excellency, Dr. Hassan Rouhani,

  • Photos of the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders, top from left Behrouz Tavakkoli, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Mahvash Sabet; bottom from left, Jamaloddin… »

In the life of every nation there are moments of profound significance, when seemingly simple actions can turn the tide of history, when age-old misunderstandings can begin to be resolved, and when a new chapter in the destiny of its people can begin. Your Excellency’s recent public call for participation in a common discourse about the rights and responsibilities of citizens has kindled in hearts the light of hope that such a moment may have arrived for the people of Iran and for the destiny of this sacred land. Appreciating this invitation, we are impelled by a moral duty towards our homeland, and especially by a deep concern for the youth of our country, to add our voice to this significant discourse.

We take this action from within our prison cell, notwithstanding the considerable obstacles in our path, as a band of law-abiding citizens who more than five years ago were arrested and have since suffered imprisonment simply for our efforts to manage the internal affairs of the Baha’i community of Iran. We write this letter at this critical and decisive juncture lest history should judge us harshly as having failed in our duty.

Dr. Rouhani, Your Excellency,

Although the sole fact of demonstrating an interest in reviewing and upholding the rights of the individual is in itself highly significant, we find it necessary here to state emphatically that, in our view, the oneness of all peoples and their fundamental liberty are not merely civil and legal constructs-they are spiritual principles whose source is the one Divine Creator, who made all humankind from the same stock. The people of Iran, justifiably, wish to prosper and flourish in their individual and collective lives. They wish to see their children advance, their youth tread the path of progress, and their nation enjoy a state of peace and tranquillity. Yet, surely, none of these aspirations can be accomplished unless social and legal conditions make it possible for all the constituent elements of society to be treated equally and well, for all individuals to be accorded their basic human rights, and for no one to be subjugated and oppressed by reason of their ethnicity, gender, religious belief, or any other distinction.

The present discourse on the rights of citizens centres on a charter currently being drafted, yet we believe that, beyond seeking comment about the contents of that document, your invitation is an opportunity for us all to reflect on the state of our country and consider the character of the society in which we wish to live. For such a reflection to be effective, it seems essential that we should first ask ourselves searching questions about the state of our society and the environment in which we wish to raise future generations. We must look deep into our hearts. Given that our land has suffered every kind of prejudice, discrimination, aggression, and social ill-a suffering whose consequences are apparent in all departments of our nation’s collective life-we must ask ourselves: what are truly the most vital principles that would fulfil our highest aspirations for our nation, and what are the means to establish these principles? How do we respect the nobility of every individual? How will a constructive environment be fostered in which all the different constituent parts of society can thrive? What are the necessary conditions that would enable women to contribute their full share? How do we wish children to be treated? How do we enable minorities-ethnic, religious, or other-to make their contribution to the betterment of society shoulder to shoulder with others? What is to be done so that differences of views and beliefs are properly respected? How do we eradicate violence from our society? How do we guarantee the right to education for all? These are among the thoughts that should inform us as we search for the principles that must guide our society and shape the formulation of the rights of its citizenry.

Your Excellency,

Seeking the views of the various elements of society about the future can, of course, represent a first step towards building a progressive country, but what is of foundational importance is that the nation’s school curriculums be reviewed to ensure that the soil is prepared in which a progressive culture may take root, a culture established upon fundamental principles such as the nobility of humankind and the equality of all before the law.

To document the citizens’ rights and enshrine them in a charter may well be an important initiative in the course of a country’s development, but if such a charter is not carefully drafted or, worse still, if it is deliberately crafted as a means to exclude, it could be used as a tool for justifying discrimination and perpetuating oppression. Therefore, beyond the benefits that accrue from a free and open discourse and appropriate educational programmes, it is imperative for the protection of the people’s rights, first, to enact laws that explicitly protect these rights, and, second, to fashion the necessary structures that prevent an arbitrary interpretation of the law. The dismissal of thousands of Baha’i citizens from government posts, the execution of more than two hundred innocent Baha’is, the expulsion of thousands of students from universities, the sentences handed down during the past eight years to hundreds of Baha’is-indeed, what has happened in our own case, and the judicial process that led to a twenty-year jail sentence for each one of us-are all salutary lessons that illustrate our point and amply demonstrate the need for safeguards in how the law is applied. In all the years that we had the honour to serve the Baha’i community of Iran, the authorities had full knowledge of our involvement in this work. Then, one day, as a result of warped thinking and on the whim of certain individuals in authority, it was decided that our service should be deemed illegal, and consequently, we have spent nearly six years behind bars.

Your Excellency,

If no effective solutions are devised, under conditions where individual rights can be trampled upon so arbitrarily, who can be certain that the fate that has befallen us today will not befall him tomorrow.

In closing, we wish Your Excellency every success in your sincere service to the great nation of Iran in the path of justice, freedom, and equality.

Respectfully,

Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Shahriari, Behrouz Azizi-Tavakkoli, Fariba Kamalabadi, Afif Naimi

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Iran’s Nuclear Attack Baha’i Students Deprived of Education, Before Class هرانا؛ هجوم ماموران امنیتی به یکی از کلاس‌های دانشگاه بهاییان

خبرگزاری هرانا – ماموران امنیتی به کلاس درس دانشجویان بهایی محروم از تحصیل در کرج حمله کرده و از دانشجویان تعهد گرفتند دیگر در کلاس‌ها شرکت نکنند

The Islamic Republic officials attacked the classroom of the Baha’i students deprived of education and forced them to vow that they will not seek higher education!!!

What do you want to say and do about it?

This is worse than nuclear threat we anticipate. This is a slow and systematic destruction of the foundation of civilization. This is putting out the very light of the Iranian community one light bunch at a time, slowly but systematically. This is slow death sentence.

What do you want to say and do about it?

This is a 30 year criminal, systematic, on going, planned and officially sanctioned scare tactic to intimidate and annihilate the Baha’i community of Iran, culturally, economically, and as a religious entity. What do you say and do about it, you peoples and governments of the world?

What do you want to say and do about it?

بنا به اطلاع گزارشگران هرانا، ارگان خبری مجموعه فعالان حقوق بشر در ایران، بعد از ظهر روز گذشته چهارشنبه ۶ آذر ماه ماموران امنیتی به منزل یک شهروند بهایی در مهرشهر کرج به‌نام «شمیم شبرو» که در آن برای دانشجویان محروم از تحصیل بهایی کلاس درس برگزار می‌شد حمله کردند. دانشجویان حاضر در کلاس که همگی بدلیل اعتقاد به دیانت بهایی از تحصیل محروم شده‌اند برای دوره کاردانی سال ۹۲ بصورت مخفیانه مشغول به تحصیل بودند.

HRANA Human Rights Activists News Agency reports that Wednesday November 27, 2013 BIHE students were gathered at a private home expecting the arrival of their teacher, Moin Abadi, for a 12:00 noon-3:00 PM class in the city of Karaj near Tehran. An eye witness reports; All of a sudden the government agents broke into the home with official arrest warrants. They violently rounded up everyone, body searched every single student, demanded identification from each student, took picture of each one by one and told them they will be contacted Saturday ( November 30, 13) to get their court date to appear before the judge of the Islamic Republic Regime!!

The agents threatened and got signatures from some students to vow that they will not to attend the higher education classes. While the raid was taking place, the officials were video taping every one’s move. Their scare tactics are viscous and penetrates deep. The agents are bold and rival gestapo during the Nazi Germany in every move.

These are Baha’i students who have been the victim of the Islamic Republic government’s systematic  and orchestrated intimidation with the absolute authority, power and intention of annihilation of the Baha’i community from the Islamic Republic of Iran.They commit their crime in bright day light while the whole world is watching!!

What do you want to say or do about it?

Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE) has been a humble answer to make up for this injustice. But as the world watches, the Islamic Republic of Iran is making sure no one can provide education for the Baha’i students. The Islamic Regime is criminalizing the very act of seeking education by the Baha’i students and arresting, intimidating, threatening with jail and asking for back breaking bails from the students and their volunteer instructors for the crime of getting an education! This is within the context of over 30 years of banning job permits and criminalizing work for the Baha’i citizens in their own country!!

What do you say and want to do about it? The plight of Iran Baha’is is not part of any negotiation with the Iranian government.

یک منبع مطلع به گزارشگر هرانا گفت: «کلاس ما از ساعت ۱۲ ظهر تا ۳ بعد از ظهر بود و معین آبادی قرار بود برای ما تدریس کند. ماموران کمی پس از شروع کلاس با حکم قضایی بصورت وحشیانه‌ای وارد منزل شدند و پس از تفتیش بدنی تمام موبایل‌ها را ضبط نمودند.» وی در ادامه گفت: «از ابتدا مامورین در حال فیلم برداری بودند و از همه دانشجویان عکس تکی و مشخصات گرفتند. مامورین همچنین از برخی تعهد گرفتند که دیگر در کلاس‌های مجازی شرکت نکنند. مامورین همچنین به ما گفتند که روز شنبه برای احضار به دادگاه با شما تماس خواهیم گرفت.» این منبع در جواب این سئوال که هم‌اکنون چند دانشجوی محروم از تحصیل بهایی در ایران وجود دارد گفت: «این رقم را نمی‌توان به سادگی بیان کرد، ولی چیزی بیش از ۱۵۰۰ دانشجویی محروم از تحصیل بهایی در کشور وجود دارد و علی‌رغم سخنان آقای روحانی مبنی بر نبود دانشجوی محروم از تحصیل متاسفانه در کنکور سال جاری نیز بهاییان از شرکت در دانشگاه محروم شدند.”

I heard someone say; the greatest political achievement of Martin Luther king Jr, was to make the human rights of the blacks a moral responsibility of the whites! To arise to the defense of the human rights of the Baha’is of Iran is a golden opportunity for all of us specially the Iranians to rise to the occasion of their moral responsibility now.

Keyvan

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Canada Says to Iran; Talk is Cheap, Free the Baha’is

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Minister Baird: We must judge the Iranian government by its deeds

The original version of this op-ed was published in the National Post on November 7, 2013.

Earlier this year, Iran elected a new president, Hassan Rouhani, whose manner, style and language stand in stark contrast to the posturing and belligerent behaviour of his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The conciliatory tone and approach of the new president is welcome, especially with regard to Iran’s nuclear diplomacy, and we were relieved to hear of Iran’s release of a small number of political prisoners. All of us who long have felt despair over the Iranian regime’s baneful influence abroad and its ruthless oppression of its own people want to believe that the country is genuinely committed to positive change at home and in its foreign relations.

But we do not have the luxury of being naïve. Nor do the Iranian people, who have suffered for far too long. Standing in front of cameras and tweeting about change are all too easy. The hard part is following through, making difficult decisions and undertaking meaningful change. We must judge the Iranian government by its deeds, not its words. President Rouhani marks his first 100 days in office on Tuesday and, by any measure, these deeds have fallen short.

Through human-rights monitoring and reporting efforts by the UN Secretary-General and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, we know that Iran’s human rights record is deeply troubling and that these abuses are continuing. Women continue to face serious discrimination. Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities continue to face disproportionate discrimination, as well as harassment by authorities. More than 100 members of the Bahá‘í faith alone remain imprisoned on charges related to practising and organizing for their religion and advocating for their rights.

These are not deeds that give us confidence in a genuine desire for change on the part of Iran’s leaders. In order to demonstrate its seriousness about meaningful change on human rights, Iran would need to go beyond half measures and take a number of concrete steps to address the legitimate concerns of the international community about how the country’s people are treated.

وزیر امور خارجه کانادا خطاب به ایران: ما ساده‌لوح نیستیم

وزیر امور خارجه کانادا که در چند ماه اخیر موضعی سرسختانه در قبال دولت حسن روحانی، رئیس جمهور ایران داشته در تازه‌ترین بیانیه خود در مورد شرایط ایران خواستار بهبود شرایط حقوق بشر و پایبندی ایران به تعهدات بین‌المللی‌اش شده است.

در این بیانیه که یک نسخه آن در اختیار دویچه‌وله قرار گرفته است، از لحن و ادبیات تازه ایران پس از روی کار آمدن حسن روحانی و به‌خصوص سیاست هسته‌ای این کشور و آزادی تعدادی اندکی از زندانیان سیاسی استقبال شده است.

آقای برد با بیان اینکه همه ما از ”نفوذ زهرآلود” در خارج و ”سرکوب وحشیانه مردم” در داخل توسط رژیم ایران، ناامید شده بودیم گفت، می‌خواهیم باور کنیم که واقعاً تغییرات مثبتی رخ داده است.

وزیر امورخارجه کانادا با اشاره به اینکه ”ما از نعمت ساده‌لوح بودن بی‌بهره‌ایم” می‌افزاید: «ایستادن در مقابل دوربین و همچنین توییت کردن در مورد تغییرات، بسیار ساده است. بخش مشکل، تصمیم‌گیری‌های دشوار و انجام تغییرات معنی‌دار است.»

به گفته آقای برد، قضاوت بر اساس عملکرد دولت روحانی صورت می‌گیرد.

وی همچنین با اشاره به سپری شدن ۱۰۰ روز از شروع کار دولت تازه در ایران گفت که با هر معیاری نیز که سنجیده شود، این اعمال (مثبت) کاهش یافته است.

در بخشی دیگری از بیانیه وزیر امورخارجه کانادا به وضعیت حقوق بشر در ایران، به‌ویژه حقوق زنان و اقلیت‌های مذهبی، از جمله بهائیان اشاره شده است. آقای برد از زندانی شدن ۱۰۰ نفر از پیروان بهائیت، به دلیل فعالیت‌های مذهبی و دفاع از حقوق‌شان، انتقاد کرده است.

خواسته‌های کانادا از دولت و رهبر ایران

جان برد در بخشی از بیانیه خود، از حکومت ایران خواسته است که به منظور نشان دادن جدیت خود و پاسخگویی به نگرانی‌های مشروع جامعه بین‌المللی، اقداماتی مشخص را انجام دهد.

موافقت با سفر گزارشگر ویژه حقوق بشر به ایران، تصویب و اجرای مفاد کنوانسیون ضد شکنجه، بررسی ادعاهای مربوط به آزار و اذیت زندانیان و همچنین تضمین آزادی بیان در قانون و عمل و دسترسی نامحدود به اینترنت از جمله موارد مطرح شده در این بیانیه است.

جان برد در بخش دیگری از بیانیه خود از رهبر جمهوری اسلامی خواسته است که با تصویب قوانین مربوطه، همه اشکال تبعیض از جمله تبعیض مذهبی، قومی و جنسیتی را ممنوع کند.

وی می‌افزاید که ایران باید کنوانسیون رفع همه اشکال تبعیض علیه زنان را بپذیرد و “به زنان اجازه دهد برای ریاست جمهوری کاندیدا شود و بدون اجازه همسران خود کار کنند.”

وزیر امورخارجه کانادا، در بخش دیگری از بیانیه خود با اشاره به اینکه این کشور شانه به شانه مردم ایران ایستاده است، تأکید می‌کند: «ما به دنبال اعمال فشار بر ایران برای جلوگیری از تبعیض، آزار و اذیت و حبس‌های غیرعادلانه هستیم.»

The Human Rights Situation in Iran

Over the years, Canada has been a strong voice denouncing the egregious state of human rights in Iran and the sustained efforts on the part of Iranian authorities to oppress the Iranian people at every turn. Iran’s continued discrimination against, and persecution of, religious minorities such as Baha’is who are systematically targeted, as well as Christians and Zoroastrians, is of grave concern. Ethnic minorities, such as the Ahwazi Arab, Azeri, Baloch and Kurdish communities are also subjected to these unlawful and widespread practices.

Canada has condemned the monumental failure of the judicial system in Iran, the intimidation and imprisonment of lawyers, the rampant abuse of due process rights, and the imposition of the death penalty, including for minors, and for vaguely defined crimes. It is worth highlighting that Iran’s Constitution provides for the judiciary to be “an independent power”.  In practice, however, the militant ideology of the Islamic Republic continues to administer harsh treatment to the Iranian people without adequate due process protection.  This long established trend has become even more entrenched since the 2009 presidential elections, which led to a surge in popular expressions of dissent.  Due process rights, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party, continue to be grossly violated by the Iranian regime.

Conclusion:

The human rights of the Baha’is of Iran and all other minorities must be included in the negotiations and at the center of nuclear talks with Iran.

Keyvan

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