Bahai| Widespread attack launched in Iran against Baha’i businesses

Just as the United Nations‘ Universal Periodic Review of Iran’s human rights record is taking place in Geneva and representatives of that country protest that they safeguard and uphold the human rights of all their citizens, the authorities in one region of Iran have launched a widespread, pre-planned, systematic attack against Baha’i business owners. This has brought further pain and hardship to countless families who are already suffering from the consequences of government policies aimed at nothing less than the economic strangulation of the Baha’i community in Iran.

A banner placed on the front of one of some 79 Baha’i-owned businesses which were closed on the morning of 25 October in a systematic state-sponsored attack on the Baha’i community in one of the regions of Iran. It reads: „This commercial unit has been sealed owing to violation of trading laws/rules. The owner of this commercial unit should report to the police.“

On the morning of Saturday 25 October, the authorities descended on no fewer than 79 Baha’i-owned shops in Kerman, Rafsanjan, and Jiroft, summarily sealing the premises which were closed to allow the proprietors to observe a Baha’i Holy Day.

In a blatant attempt to besmirch the good reputation of the Baha’i owners, the authorities displayed banners at the shops asserting that the owners had violated the rules governing business and trade practices.

The Baha’is have justly earned high repute among their fellow citizens for honesty and trustworthiness in all their dealings – including among their Muslim employees and colleagues, as well as their customers and clients. Members of the Baha’i community are bending every effort to pursue justice through the legal avenues available to them, even though it is clear that the action against them is state-sponsored. They are also calling upon the authorities to provide evidence for the unfounded accusations leveled against so many Baha’i shop-owners, including specific laws and standards that have purportedly been breached.

„Representatives of a state that claims its Constitution and laws are based upon Islamic teachings and principles would do well to consider the impact of their duplicities on the younger generation and the future of their country,“ said Ms. Bani Dugal, Representative of the Baha’i International Community. „We call upon all governments to exert pressure upon the government of Iran to stop this and all other forms of discrimination against the Baha’is of Iran, who remain innocent of the accusations levelled against them and seek only to contribute to the advancement of their nation as loyal, law-abiding citizens.“

To Light a Candle – trailer for a film by Maziar Bahari

The Baha’is are a religious minority in Iran. They are systematically imprisoned, tortured and killed by the Iranian government. The Islamic regime bans the Baha’is to study or teach in Iranian universities. But the Baha’is do teach, and they do study. Since 1987 the Baha’is started BIHE, an underground university with hundreds of students in Iran, and dozens of teachers in Iran and around the world. Through powerful interviews, exclusive secret footage shot by citizen journalists, rare archival material and dramatic letters written by a Baha’i prisoners currently in jail in Iran, To Light a Candle shows how a small minority has defied the brutal systematic religious persecution through non-violent resistance and educating their youth. A film by Maziar Bahari.

The Perils of Drinking Coffee ‘Provocatively’

According to Article 638 of Iran’s 1996 Islamic Penal Code, “women who appear in the street and public places without the Islamic hejab will serve time, between ten days and two months, and will have to pay a cash fine”.

The law, however, does not define the exact parameters surrounding the “Islamic hejab,” leaving that crucial judgment up to the police and the paramilitary Basij force. This leaves a gap open for security forces to exploit, despite the fact that morally the hejab is something that cannot be enforced by law or through coercion.

Through my work as a lawyer I have paid numerous visits to the Ershad Judicial Complex, which is responsible for fighting so-called “social corruption.” I have witnessed many abuses of power, and also things that are simply not quite right.

Take, for instance, the printed form the police and the Basij use as they patrol the streets and shopping centers looking for women they believe are not properly wearing the hejab.

The form has three parts, the first dealing with woman’s hair, and includes checkboxes for ‘completely uncovered head,’ ‘partially uncovered hair,’ ‘styled hair showing’, ‘uncovered neck,’ ‘thin headscarf’ and, oddly, ‘visibility of the breasts.’

The second part applies to the use of make-up: lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, blusher, nail polish on fingers or toes and banned glasses.

The third outlines the various ways a woman’s attire may be grounds for legal action: ‘a tight-fitting manteau,’ ‘a short manteau,’ ‘a manteau with slits showing the body,’ ‘an unconventional manteau,’ ‘stockings with a banned pattern,’ ‘no stockings’ and the ominous ‘other.’

Many of the form’s checkboxes are vague and open to interpretation, such as ‘banned glasses’ and ‘unconventional manteau,’ leaving the individual policeman or the Basiji to make their own judgement on what qualifies what.

The breadth of the form also gives security forces both an incentive and opportunity to constantly scan women in public whose necks are showing or who are wearing lipstick or mascara.

Islam definitely forbids scrutiny being this close. According to the prominent 13th century Shi’a jurist Allamah al-Hilli, a proper Muslim should look at a woman’s hand or face just once and only if necessary. A second look is forbidden. With these forms in hand, policemen and Basijis have an excuse to relentlessly stare at women so that they find ways they are violating the law as far as how they are dressed and how their bodies look.

A second form is dedicated to drivers and passengers. The checklist includes ‘inappropriately dressed’ passengers, ‘passengers with make-up,’ ‘naked body parts,’ ‘tight-fitting dress’ and ‘uncovered hair.’ This form is likely to have more serious consequences than the form dealing with women’s appearance on the street, because it requires the inspection of all moving vehicles to discover whether or not a female driver or any of their passengers are wearing a tight-fitting dress or whether a body part is on show.

In 2009 a young woman came to my law offices and recounted how she had been arrested in a coffee shop as she was drinking coffee with her cousin. They were both taken to the Department for Fighting Moral Corruption. After a few hours she and her cousin were released on bail and the processing of the case was scheduled for several days later.

When I became an attorney I went to the courthouse to review the case. It turned out that they were arrested for drinking coffee “in a provocative manner.”

Fortunately when the court was convened I was able to defend them successfully and they were acquitted from this absurd charge.

Offense Type

  • Completely Uncovered
  • Partially Uncovered
  • Breasts Showing
  • Styled Hair Showing
  • Uncovered Neck
  • Thin Scarf
  • Lipstick
  • Mascara
  • Eye Shadow
  • Face Make-Up
  • Forbidden Glasses
  • No Stockings
  • Thin Stockings
  • Stockings with Forbidden Symbols
  • Short Socks
  • Other
  • Tight-Fitting Manteau
  • Short Manteau
  • Manteau with Body-Showing Slits
  • Unconventional Manteau
  • Manteau with Forbidden Symbols

Source: IranWire

Iran: Ausstieg aus der Basij – Auskunft der SFH-Länderanalyse

Auskunft der SFH-Länderanalyse

Ausstieg aus der Basij

Adrian Schuster , 25. Januar 2013



Der Anfrage vom 18. Dezember 2012 an die SFH-Länderanalyse haben wir die folgenden Fragen entnommen:

  1. Wie sind die Strukturen der Organisationen der Basij sowie der islamischen Revolutionsgarde («Sepah-e Pasdaran») miteinander verbunden?
  2. Mit welchen Konsequenzen ist nach mehrjähriger Teilnahme bei einem Ausstieg aus der Basij zu rechnen?
  3. Mit welchen Konsequenzen ist zu rechnen, wenn ein ehemaliges Mitglied der Basij im Ausland oppositionell tätig wurde?

Die Schweizerische Flüchtlingshilfe SFH beobachtet die Entwicklungen in Iran seit mehreren Jahren.[1]Aufgrund von Expertenauskünften und eigenen Recherchen nehmen wir zu den Fragen wie folgt Stellung:

Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran’s Successes and Failures – 34 Years Later

Daniel Brumberg

On February 11, Iran will mark the 34th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. What are Iran’s successes?
            The Islamic Republic is now a regional power, thanks to three decades of social, economic, diplomatic, and military advancements. But not all of these successes are clear-cut. Many of Iran’s achievements actually created new challenges or even led to political and diplomatic failures.
      One of Iran’s greatest successes is the dramatic expansion of its middle class. Many professionals, white collar workers, and skilled laborers from modest backgrounds entered the middle class during the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, when the country faced growing international isolation. The distribution of oil wealth helped spur along this process.
      The state’s health, education and welfare initiatives also played a major role in expanding the middle class. Iran dramatically lowered its fertility rate with a progressive family planning program. The rate dropped from 6.6 births per woman in 1977 to 2 births per woman in 2000. The government expanded higher education and significantly increased literacy rates, especially among women. In 1998, two decades after the Islamic Revolution, Iran was cited as one of the top ten countries worldwide that had closed the gender gap in education. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Photos of the day I: Youth clubs of the Basij

The Latest from Iran (4 December): When Your Dad is a Political Prisoner

2145 GMT: The Supreme Leader and the President. Looks like I was too eager to find meaning (see 0820 GMT) in President Ahmadinejad’s absence from Saturday’s ceremony, led by the Supreme Leader, for Imam Hussein. Ahmadinejad was present tonight, as were a number of his inner circle and Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Revolutionary Guards.

2140 GMT: Reformist Watch. Ayatollah Mousavi Khoeini, a senior reformist figure, has declared that the regime has missed the opportunity to ensure reformist participation in March’s Parliamentary vote. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran Analysis: Re-Assessing the Explosion at the Revolutionary Guards Base

On 12 November, an explosion at the Malard base of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards killed between 17 and 37 people and damaged a number of buildings at the complex west of Tehran.

Questions immediately surfaced and have yet to be answered: what was the exact cause of the blast? Who, if anyone, was behind it? How significant was the effect on Iran’s military programmes? Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

The Latest from Iran (2 December): After the Embassy, It’s Back to the Economy

Maya Neyestani compares protest and Iran’s security forces 2009 with protest and Iran’s security forces 2011: „Nah, they are students. Take it easy. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Iran 1st-Hand Special: Basij Student’s Account of the Attack on the British Embassy

Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

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