Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Candle-Lit Vigil for Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

MEDIA RELEASE:

Candle-Lit Vigil on 18 June 2013 to Pay Tribute to 10 Heroic Women And in Support of All Prisoners of Conscience in Iran

Hundreds are expected to gather in Aotea Square on Tuesday 18 June to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the hanging of 10 Baha’i women in Shiraz, Iran, in 1983. “We will be paying tribute to the heroism of these women who were killed for teaching religious classes to Bahá'í children,” says co-ordinator, Maxine Chan. “They were equivalent of Sunday School teachers in the West.”

For their membership of the Baha’i Faith (the largest religious minority in Iran) the women were interrogated and tortured in the months leading up to their execution. They were aged between 17 and 57 years, and included two teenagers. Ms Chan explains that “the youngest of the group was Mona Mahmudnizhad, a 17-year-old schoolgirl who, because of her youth and extraordinary courage became a symbol of the group. In prison, she was lashed on the soles of her feet with a cable and forced to walk with bleeding feet. The authorities did their utmost to force her to recant her faith as a Bahá'í, but she was steadfast to the end.”

Mona's story has been the subject of several art works, and a music video Mona with the Children by Doug Cameron. The video was a Canadian hit in the mid 80s, and was effective in bringing the human rights situation of the Bahá'ís in Iran to the attention of the public.

Ms Chan said the women had considered it their duty to teach Bahá'í religious classes, especially after the government had barred Bahá'í children from attending regular school. “The denial of education to Iran's largest religious minority is a grave, ongoing concern. Continuing pressure exerted by the United Nations, international human rights agencies and world leaders is essential if the Bahá’í community is ever to regain access to education, employment, freedom of expression and a range of other human rights of which they have been deprived for many years.”

A campaign to raise awareness of the systematic cradle-to-grave state-sponsored persecution of Baha'is of Iran is being launched in Auckland in August.

Meanwhile, human rights organisations and concerned individuals will join the Baha'is at Tuesday's candle-lit vigil, starting 5.30pm to remember these 10 heroic women and in support of all other prisoners of conscience in Iran.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news