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UN: Iranian Authorities Inciting Hatred, Persecuting Baha'i Minority

  • RFE/RL

UN human rights experts say Iranian officials are inciting hatred against members of Iran's Baha'i religious minority.

A statement issued on June 8 by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights accused Iranian religious, judicial, and political authorities of making "verbal attacks" that show "extreme intolerance" toward the Baha'i community and that "could encourage discrimination and possibly acts of violence against the group by others."

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said there was an "ongoing and systematic persecution" of Baha'is by the Iranian government that violates the country's international legal obligations.

The UN says are currently at least 72 Baha'is in Iranian prisons "solely because of their religious beliefs and practices."

Heiner Bieelfeldt, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion, said that "increasingly hostile rhetoric" now puts Iran's Baha'i community at "a very dangerous precipice where its very existence may be threatened."