The latest news from Iran. To read other recent stories, go to the Baha’i World News Service website.
Three weeks in Iran: 200 incidents of Baháʼís being targeted as international community roundly condemns “sweeping crackdown”
August 24, 2022
BIC NEW YORK — Government officials, international and national media outlets and dozens of prominent civil society actors and individuals have rushed to the defense of the Bahá’ís of Iran, this month, with an outpouring of statements, news coverage and social media posts provoked by an escalating crackdown and official hate propaganda against the community, demanding an end to the injustice. The crackdown began on 31 July with a wave of arrests and the violent destruction of homes in the village of Roshankouh in northern Iran.
Hundreds of millions of people are estimated to have been reached by online and traditional media news coverage of these events and supportive statements concerning the persecutions.
The Bahá’í International Community’s (BIC) own Twitter account saw a ninefold increase in its reach and ability to communicate the persecutions to the public. One video alone, showing several of the dispossessed Bahá’ís by the rubble of their homes in Roshankouh, was seen 3.4 million times on one broadcaster’s Instagram account and was widely shared on numerous other sites. Read more…
44 Iranian Bahá’ís arrested, arraigned, or jailed as leading human rights figure says situation is “getting worse”
July 11, 2022
BIC NEW YORK — The Iranian government’s systematic campaign to persecute the Bahá’í religious minority accelerated again this past week with the arrest, court hearing or imprisonment of at least 18 more Bahá’í citizens across the country, bringing the June total to 44 people. Hundreds of others, meanwhile, also await summonses to court or to prison. Read the entire story.
Tackling hate speech at nexus of tech, government, and civil society
July 7, 2022
BIC GENEVA — To address the challenge of increasing hate speech online, there needs to be much closer collaboration between the tech sector, government, and civil society organizations, says the Bahá’í International Community (BIC). This was the theme of a recent panel discussion hosted by the Geneva Office of the BIC as part of the RightsCon summit, an annual international forum on human rights in the digital age.
The BIC forum brought together the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Ahmed Shaheed, a trustee on Meta’s Oversight Board, Kristina Arriaga, and a researcher from Human Rights Watch, Tara Sepehri Far, to explore the challenges of tackling online hate speech in the context of the campaign of disinformation against the Bahá’ís of Iran.
“Hate speech ultimately creates a culture of hate, where groups are not considered to be full members of society, where social cohesion is eroded, and division is allowed to take root, impacting every aspect of relationships between individuals, communities, and governing institutions,” said Simin Fahandej, a representative of the Geneva Office. Read the entire story.