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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."

Pakistani officials say a woman has been arrested after burning her daughter alive because the young woman had defied her family to marry a man of her choice.

Police said the killing took place in the eastern city of Lahore on June 8, and that the mother was arrested the same day.

The suspect, Parveen Rafiq, confessed to pouring petrol on her 18-year-old daughter Zeenat Rafiq and setting her ablaze, with the help of her son, police official Sheikh Hammad Akhtar said.

Police are looking for the son.

Violence against women is not uncommon in Pakistan, where nearly 1,000 women are killed each year in so-called "honor killings."

A 19-year-old schoolteacher, Maria Bibi, was tortured, doused with gasoline and set on fire last month for refusing to marry a man twice her age.

Based on reporting by AP and Dawn

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

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