Human Rights Abuse That’s Closest To My Heart…

Carl Jung, a respected psychologist, wrote a lot about synchronicity: the meaningful relationship of events that appear to have no causal connection.

I felt the meaningful relationship between

1: my blogging (on May 14 & 15) about human rights and

2: the facts of the following story.

The “closest to my heart” part of the title of this post is due to my belonging to the Baha’i Faith, as do these persecuted people…


Personal diary of John Barnabas (aka Barney) Leith

Baha’is arrested in Iran – grave news

The six of the seven members of the Friends in Iran, the informal group that coordinates Bahá’í activities in Iran in the absence of the formal Bahá’í administration, were all arrested in the early hours of this morning (14 May).

The Universal House of Justice, the world governing council of the Bahá’í Faith, has just sent a message advising us of this grave and distressing news.

Officers of the Intelligence Ministry in Tehran entered the homes of Mrs Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr Afif Naeimi, Mr Saeid Rezaie, Mr Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr Vahid Tizfah, conducted extensive searches and took them to the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran.

The seventh member of the group, Mrs Mahvash Sabet, Secretary of the Friends in Iran, has been held in custody since 5 March 2008.

Such dire action on the part of the government has not been witnessed since the heart-rending events in 1980 and 1981, when all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly (the national Bahá’í governing council) of Iran were abducted on 21 August 1980 and disappeared without a trace, following which the reconstituted National Assembly was again ravaged by the execution of eight of its members on 27 December 1981.

Since that time, the Bahá’ís in Iran have not been able to elect their Assemblies and their activities have been coordinated by small informal groups, known as Friends.

This is yet more evidence, if evidence were needed, that the government of Iran is determined to extinguish the Bahá’í Faith in the land of its birth.

You can read more about the ongoing persecution of the

Bahá’ís in Iran here.


Here’s a bit of response from the U. S. State Department:

Arrests of Leadership of Iranian Baha’is
We strongly condemn the May 14 arrest of six leaders of the Iranian Baha’i community– Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm–by Iranian authorities and the continued imprisonment of a seventh leader, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet. This is a clear violation of the Iranian regime’s international commitments and obligations to respect international religious freedom norms. We urge the authorities to release all Baha’is currently in detention and cease their ongoing harassment of the Iranian Baha’i community.