Press Release

ADL’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities Endorses Congressional Legislation in Support of Baha’is of Iran

New York, NY, March 12, 2020 … ADL’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities today endorsed H. Res. 823 condemning the Government of Iran’s state-sponsored persecution of its Baha’i minority and the regime’s continued violation of the International Covenants on Human Rights.  This bipartisan resolution also calls on the Executive Branch to impose sanctions on those Iranian officials who are directly responsible for serious human rights abuses against the Baha’i community.

"The Islamic Republic’s treatment of the Baha’is is a violation of human rights as well as Iranian and international laws,” said Task Force Member Maziar Bahari. “According to Article 19 of the Iranian constitution, 'The people of Iran enjoy equal rights, regardless of the tribe or ethnic group to which they belong.’ But since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Baha’is of Iran have been discriminated against because of their faith.”

“They have been expelled from their places of work, they have been barred from studying in universities and they have been jailed, tortured and killed simply because they are Baha’is,” said Bahari. “The Task Force welcomes this resolution and hopes all other nations take similar measures to confront the atrocities committed against the Baha’is by the Iranian government.”

Maziar Bahari is the editor of the citizen journalism site IranWire and director of a documentary film “To Light a Candle” about the underground Baha’i Institute of Higher Education.

"The U.S. government sanctioned a senior Iranian official this past year for helping direct the regime's efforts to eradicate its Baha'i community," said Task Force Member Johnnie Moore.  "This timely Congressional resolution would encourage additional American gestures of solidarity with vulnerable Baha'i people."  Reverend Moore is a Commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and author of the 2019 article "Will Iran’s Shias Take Back Their Religion From Khamenei?"

ADL’s Task Force on Middle East Minorities has published blogs in the last year on the plight of Baha’is in Iranian prison and touching on the status of Baha’is in Egypt.  In October 2019, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom published a policy brief highlighting the alarming increase in persecution of Iran’s Baha’i Community.