How to Discuss LGBT Issues: A Comprehensive Media Guide for Persian Language Journalists

After a year of research and study by a team of experts, in April 2013 the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission published a comprehensive media guide on sexual orientation and gender identity in Persian. The 72-page guide, titled „How to Discuss LGBT issues“ is IGLHRC’s first publication in Persian addressing the needs of Persian-speaking media professionals in reporting LGBT-related stories.

The guide, divided into 12 chapters, covers a range of topics, including Sexual Orientation Gender Identity (SOGI) specific terminology, understanding of gender and sexuality, Persian slogans commonly used in reference to the LGBT community, LGBT rights at the United Nations, understanding conversion therapy, history of LGBT movement, Iran’s penal code and homosexuality, religion and homosexuality, and professional ethics of journalism and the sensationalism of LGBT stories.

IGLHRC is currently using this manual—the first of its kind in Persian—in outreach to editors and journalists, Persian broadcast and online community members as a tool to end the social stigmatization of individuals, the LGBT community and the perpetuation of homophobia in Iran. The manual is successfully in use with several major international outlets and in less than one month, over 35 journalists and editors have already attended training workshops with IGLHRC staff.

Download a PDF version of the guide in Farsi »


Iranian Baha’is face „widespread and entrenched“ discrimination says UN Committee

Yesterday the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights issued a series of pointed recommendations to the Iranian government – recommendations that included a plea for Iran to ensure that all citizens, regardless of religious belief, enjoy full rights without any discrimination.

The Committee specifically referred to the Baha’i community, expressing its concern that Iranian Baha’is face „widespread and entrenched discrimination, including denial of access to employment in the public sector, institutions of higher education, as well as to benefits of the pension system.“ It recommended that Iran „take steps to ensure that members of the Baha’i community are protected against discrimination and exclusion in every field.“

Diane Alai, the representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva, welcomed the Committee’s findings, known as „concluding observations.“ She said: „The Committee’s report highlights the extent of the persecution of Baha’is in Iran, which includes employment, education, and cultural issues.“

She noted that Committee members questioned Iranian officials during a day-long session earlier in the month, asking, among other things, why the government feels it has to recognize a particular religion at all in order to grant individuals certain rights, and why discrimination against Baha’is appears to be so pervasive.

„People are the holders of their freedom of religion, and that is not the public power of states,“ said Nicolaas Schrijver, a Committee member from The Netherlands, during the 1 May session with Iranian officials.

In its report, the Committee also recommended that Iran take steps to guarantee „the unhindered access of Baha’i students to universities and vocational training institutions.“

The report also covered a wide range of other human rights violations in Iran, from concern over discrimination against women and ethnic minorities in education and employment to the lack of protection for independent trade unions.

Source: BAHAIs World News Service


The Riddle: new anti-homophobia message from UN human rights office

76 countries still criminalize consensual same-sex relationships and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people everywhere continue to suffer violent attacks and discriminatory treatment. In this simple, high-impact video from the UN human rights office, individuals from diverse backgrounds pose questions directly to the viewer designed to expose the nature of human rights violations suffered by LGBT people around the world. The video includes cameo appearances by UN Secretary-General and High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay. The UN’s message: LGBT rights are human rights. Together we will build a world that is free and equal.


Iran Takes Tough Stance on Chemical Weapons in Syria

On at least one issue—and at least rhetorically—Iran and the United States agree. Both Tehran and Washington are now on the record in calling the use of chemical weapons “a red line.” Iran’s toughening position may reflect its own experience when Saddam Hussein repeatedly used several types of chemical weapons against Iran during the 1980-1988 war launched by Iraq. The United Nations verified at least seven uses of mustard or nerve gasses in specific operations. 
On April 30, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria is Iran’s “red line.” The United States recently called for a U.N. investigation based on new evidence of sarin gas use in Syria’s civil war. But Salehi reportedly suggested that the rebels might be responsible. Iran accuses Western and Arab countries of fueling the conflict and supporting foreign fighters against President Bashar Assad. The following are excerpted remarks by top leaders on Syria.

Chemical Weapons
            “We have always emphasized that using chemical weapons, by anyone, is our red line… [The United Nations should] identify the main culprit behind the use of chemical weapons in the country before it is too late and the situation gets out of control in Syria… We oppose any type of production, stockpiling and use of weapons of mass destruction, and this stance is the clear message and consistent policy of Iran…” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi to Iranian news media on April 30 Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Launching a new campaign: Five years TOO MANY


We are launching an international campaign to seek the immediate release of the seven imprisoned Baha’i leaders – and all other prisoners of conscience in Iran. We hope people of good conscience around the world will raise their voices in support of this call and urge the Iranian Government to live up to its international human rights obligations.

As visitors will see, we have numerous documents on this Website that explain the unjust and wrongful manner in which the seven were arrested, tried and imprisoned.

Their story is similar to what is happening to the roughly 100 other Baha’is now in prison in Iran – and the hundreds of other innocent prisoners of conscience that have been incarcerated for simply exercising their internationally recognized human rights.

The campaign begins on 5 May – and runs through 15 May 2013. We plan to report here on the activities and efforts that are undertaken around the world in support of this campaign as we approach the fifth anniversary of the arrest of the seven. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

UN Security Council : Bericht des UNO-Generalsekretärs zu politischen und sicherheitsrelevanten Entwicklungen

Bericht des UNO-Generalsekretärs zu politischen und sicherheitsrelevanten Entwicklungen seit 16. November 2012 (Haftbedingungen; Gewalt gegen Frauen, Kinder und Minderheiten; Angriff auf Camp Hurriya am 9. Februar 2013; humanitäre Lage) [ID 242311]

Dokument öffnen Periodischer Bericht: Second report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 6 of resolution 2061 (2012) [S/2013/154]


Der Runde Tisch der Religionen in Deutschland: Religionsübergreifender Appell an iranische Führung



Der Runde Tisch der Religionen in Deutschland appelliert zum iranischen Neujahrsfest in einem offenen Briefan die iranische Führung, dass Christen und Bahá’í „der ihnen durch die Menschenrechte zugesagte Schutz gewährt werde“.

„Andersdenkende und Andersgläubige sind besonders schutzbedürftig“, schreibt das religionsübergreifende Gremium hochrangiger Repräsentanten der großen Religionsgemeinschaften in Deutschland. „Wir denken insbesondere an Menschen christlichen Glaubens und an Bahá’í. Letztere sind nach jüngsten Medienberichten besonders in der Provinz Semnan Übergriffen ausgesetzt“, heißt es in dem Schreiben vom 14. März an Ayatollah Khamenei zum Nawruz-Fest 1392.

Der Brief wurde unterzeichnet von Repräsentanten aus der evangelischen, katholischen und orthodoxen Kirche sowie aus dem Buddhismus und der Bahá’í-Religion. Sie sendetendem religiöser Führer und dem gesamten iranischen Volk Glückwünsche zum Neujahrsfest. „Nawruz verkörpert eine weltweit geschätzte iranische Tradition zum Frühlingsanfang, die immer wieder mit dem Gedanken der Erneuerung in Verbindung gebracht wird.“ Vielen Menschen bleibe an Nawruz nur die Hoffnung auf eine bessere Zukunft. Auch zahlreiche Bürger des Iran lebten von der Hoffnung, dass ihnen elementare Menschenrechte gewährt werden, schrieb der Runde Tisch der Religionen. Lies den Rest dieses Beitrags

Albanien bietet Aufnahme iranischer Flüchtlinge aus dem Irak an

Lager nahe Bagdad war im Februar angegriffen worden


Die albanische Regierung hat angeboten, 210 iranische Oppositionelle aus dem Flüchtlingslager Hurrija (Camp Liberty) im Irak aufzunehmen. Sein Land wolle die Mitglieder der Exil-Oppositionsgruppe der Volksmudschahedin „aus humanitären Gründen“ aufnehmen, erklärte Ministerpräsident Sali Berisha am Samstag in einer Erklärung. Darum hätten Vertreter der USA und der UNO gebeten.


Iran ./. UNHCR – Documents

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Iran (Islamic Republic of) The boundaries and names shown on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations

Iran (Islamic Republic of) and UN Charter-based Bodies

Iran (Islamic Republic of) and UN Treaty Bodies


Israel’s Rita Rocks the U.N. – a important Document of peace and freedom between israel and iranian peoples
Israeli singer Rita’s special surrealistic concert at the UN General Assembly, 5 March 2013, in the United Nations General Assembly Hall.

UN Ambassador Prosor has pulled off one of the most unusual diplomatic achievements ever: a full-fledged UN-sponsored Farsi-Hebrew musical event full of goodwill and sympathy

By Chemi Shalev | March 6, 2013 | 9:50 AM

Inside the hall of the General Assembly at the United Nations building in New York, it seemed at times that either the messiah had arrived or the world had turned inside-out Bizarro, like in the Superman comics: Rita, one of Israel’s most popular performers, was singing in Farsi and Hebrew; Israelis were dancing in the aisles: diplomats from around the world were clapping and begging for more; Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor was the hero of the day; Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said „shalom“ and General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic, it turned out, hails from a family of Righteous Gentiles.

It was, without a doubt, a night to remember, a memory to cherish, an Israeli-made spectacle the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the General Assembly since Ambassador Herzog tore apart that Zionism is Racism resolution in 1975. Only this time, it was the other way around: „Why is this night different than all other nights?“ an elated and season conscious Prosor asked me, „Because on this night, contrary to all previous nights, the United Nations is united behind Israel and resides under the wings of Rita.“

The wings that Prosor was referring to come from Haim Bialik’s song „Hachnisini Tahat Knafech“ — „Under Your Wing“ — a popular Israeli song which was featured in Rita’s „Tunes for Peace“ concert performed at UN headquarters Tuesday night. The famous platform underneath the giant olive-colored UN symbol was turned into a rock concert stage, including a smoke machine, strobe lights, and a rocking and raucous 9-piece ensemble that played Persian-Israeli music with light touches of Klezmer to boot.

The auditorium, which for most Israelis and Diaspora Jews has come to be associated with harsh anti-Israeli rhetoric, cold diplomatic isolation, and humiliating political defeats at the hands of the „automatic majority,“ suddenly had a warm ambiance and an admiring audience comprised of Iranian expatriates, Israeli diplomats, UN employees, and representatives of 140 UN delegations who begged their Israeli colleagues for invitations to the show and to the experience.

Ban Ki Moon opened the evening with the word „shalom“ and described Rita as „a cultural ambassador“. Then came Jeremic, who announced that he would soon be the first sitting President of the General Assembly to visit Israel, during which he will participate in a Yad Vashem ceremony in which members of his grandmother’s family in Belgrade would be recognized as „Righteous Among the Gentiles“ for saving Jews during the Holocaust.

Then, Introducing Rita, Prosor said „I always hoped that I would one day be the opening act for Rita at a major venue in New York City. Although, I’ll admit, I never expected that it would be in the form of the Three Tenors: „Ban, Prosor, and Jeremic.“

„It is our sincere hope that this musical evening will echo from New York to the hearts and minds of people throughout Israel and Iran,“ Prosor added, and then asked Rita to „rock the house“, which she did.

The popular Israeli singer gave a ten song rendition that included five songs in Farsi, four in Hebrew and one — „Time for Peace“ — in English. She delighted the audience with stories of her childhood in Tehran, about her mother’s love for music, and about her own wish to spread the love far and wide between her birthplace and her homeland. Her strong voice reverberated in the hall which had never seen such a joyous bunch of Israelis, including enthusiastic Rita fans who tried to get the UN diplomats to dance with them near the stage and down the aisles, though that proved a bridge too long for the usually stiff and formal envoys.


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