Yesterday I was watching KCET T.V. news and was quite saddened to hear about the situation of the NPR reporter Rokhsana Saberi who is now in the notorious Evin Prison of the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran. Because of what? Because the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran has its own agenda that no other International body or authority seems to respect or understand. Because of the same reasons, the 7 members of the ad-hock committee of the Bahaís of Iran are in the Evin prison. What a shame that Rokhsana, a dedicated journalist, a talented musician, a loving and young servant of humanity who is respected by all who know her and work with her, be put behind the bars of the notorious Evin prison, and subjected to hours of psychological torture and interrogation. I said a prayer for her protection.
Seeing her parents siting next to each other on a couch and with great concern for her safety and life, pleading for the supreme leaders compassion and reason swelled my eyes with tears! I felt their agony, watching what her poor mother and father, so helpless, so worried, so desperate, yet hopeful for a glimmer of sense from the senseless!! It also reminded me of Fariba Kamal-Abadi and the other Bahaís prisoners in that prison, interrogated for hours and subjected to inhumane treatment for over a year now.
It is the period of Ridvan and the Bahaís from all religious, racial and national background, all over the world are celebrating the Festival of Ridvan when Bahaú’llah declared His message of oneness, unity and peace for all. But these innocent human beings whose only crime is their beautiful and humane belief are withering in the Evin prison. May God watch over them and protect them from the claws of their enemies because human beings appear helpless to do so.
From a different corner, the beleaguered Baha’is of Shiraz are crying out to us for help, and all humanity is feeling helpless!! They are writing; “The Imprisoned Bahais in Shiraz are being kept under inhumane conditions. They are held in small cells, in solitary confinement. These cells are about 2.2 meters x 2.2 meters wide, with an open washroom at the corner, and without any sort of windows, openings or ventilation system. Their bedding consists merely of two blankets on the cement prison floor. At present, there are seven Bahai detained in the city of Shiraz. The Baha’i way of thinking and believing, about religion is threatening to the Islamic Republic Regeme, you can see.
Among them, the situation of Haleh Houshamandi-Salehi (arrested March 18, 2009), is the gravest. She has a heart ailment and her physician has stated that any stress or trauma will have an extremely serious impact on her health. Under the intense psychological and physical pressures of solitary confinement and ongoing interrogations, she developed numbness on the left side of her body to the point that she
could not get herself up from the floor. After 22 days in solitary confinement, authorities transferred Halah Ruhi (detained since October 2007), to Halehs cell. Although Haleh Houshamandi-Salehi is being given some medication in the prison, she is in urgent need of proper medical care and the attention of a heart specialist. Her family has taken her medical records to the detention center, hoping for compassion and understanding.
However, in response to her family’s ongoing inquiries into Halehs condition, the judiciary investigator recently said: Who cares about what happens if one of you dies, one less the better!! I say woe, for the cause of justice, the Luke Sky Walkers of humanity that have become the prisoners of the dark forces, the Dart-waders of history of humanity.
Haleh Houshmadi-Salehis 8-year old son, Sooren, traumatized by the raid of his home and the detainment of his mother, often bursts into tears. The mothers of his classmates help their children with their homework, drop them off and pick them up from school, but the authorities have left Sooren without his mother. He says, I feel like crying, but I try very hard and stop myself. I worry that my classmates will make fun of me. He often asks when his mother will be home, but no one has any answers to comfort this broken-hearted child.” Is this the religion of peace that the Prophet of Islam suffered to bring? Who is responsible for the protection of the human rights of innocent children in Iran today?
“Iran Watch reports that on April 4, a bail was set by the Prosecutor General of Fars province for the release of four of the prisoners arrested in the last two months. However, the judiciary investigator stated that under no condition would he accept the instructions of the Prosecutor General and allow these Bahais to be discharged on bail.
A few days ago, an arrest order was briefly shown to a Bahai that was being questioned by Islamic authorities. The arrest order was entitled: Arrest Warrant of all Connected Individuals. This revelation is very alarming as it indicates the authorities intentions to use such broad reaching statements to justify numerous arrests. With such a vague and ambiguous warrant, any and all family members of the detained Bahais can be considered connected individuals and any Bahai can be considered a connected individual by virtue of their faith and their common beliefs. Their use of elusive terminology on warrants allows them to detain, question and arrest any individual for any period of time, at will, and without any further justification or clarification.
It is the urgent hope of the detainees families that the ongoing atrocities against Bahais are stopped, and that their loved ones, detained solely
because of their beliefs, are released.”
It looks like all humanity who has humanity is feeling helpless in releasing these birds of God’s love from the claws of the inhumanity of those who are thirsty for their blood and hungry for their flesh.
let us ask for help from the Supreme Protector of all.
Please join me in crying out for justice and compassion for all children:
O Lord! Draw up the people from the abyss of the ocean of hatred and enmity, and deliver them from this impenetrable darkness. Unite their hearts, and brighten their eyes with the light of peace and reconciliation. Deliver them from the depths of war and bloodshed, and free them from the darkness of error. Remove the veil from their eyes, and enlighten their hearts with the light of guidance. Treat them with Thy tender mercy and compassion, and deal not with them according to Thy justice and wrath which cause the limbs of the mighty to quake.
O Lord! Wars have persisted. Distress and anxiety have waxed great and every flourishing region is laid waste.
O Lord! Hearts are heavy, and souls are in anguish. Have mercy on these poor souls and do not leave them to the excesses of their own desires.
O Lord! Make manifest in Thy lands humble and submissive souls, their faces illumined with the rays of guidance, severed from the world, extolling Thy Name, uttering Thy praise, and diffusing the fragrance of Thy holiness amongst mankind. 58
O Lord! Strengthen their backs, gird up their loins, and enrapture their hearts with the most mighty signs of Thy love.
O Lord! Verily, they are weak, and Thou art the Powerful and the Mighty; they are impotent, and Thou art the Helper and the Merciful.
O Lord! The ocean of rebellion is surging, and these tempests will not be stilled save through Thy boundless grace which hath embraced all regions.
O Lord! Verily, the people are in the abyss of passion, and naught can save them but Thine infinite bounties.
(Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 57)