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

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Arming Police: Frontline Police To Routinely Carry Tasers

"In making the decision, the Police executive has considered almost five years worth of 'use of force' data… It consistently shows that the Taser is one of the least injury-causing tactical options available when compared with other options, with a subject injury rate of just over one per cent for all deployments." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On D-Day For Dairy At The TPP

While New Zealand may feel flattered at being called “the Saudi Arabia of milk” it would be more accurate to regard us as the suicide bombers of free trade. More>>

ALSO:

Leaked Letter: Severe Restrictions on State Owned Enterprises

Even an SOE that exists to fulfil a public function neglected by the market or which is a natural monopoly would nevertheless be forced to act "on the basis of commercial considerations" and would be prohibited from discriminating in favour of local businesses in purchases and sales. Foreign companies would be given standing to sue SOEs in domestic courts for perceived departures from the strictures of the TPP... More>>

ALSO:

"Gutted" Safety Bill: Time To Listen To Workplace Victims’ Families

Labour has listened to the families of whose loved ones have been killed at work and calls on other political parties to back its proposals to make workplaces safer and prevent unnecessary deaths on the job. More>>

ALSO:

Regulators: Govt To ‘Crowd-Source’ Regulatory Advice

A wide-ranging set of reforms is to be implemented to shake up the way New Zealand government agencies develop, write and implement regulations. More>>

ALSO:

Board Appointments: Some Minister Appoint Less The 3 In 10 Women

“It’s 2015 not 1915: Ministers who appoint less than 3 in 10 women to their boards must do better, they have no excuse but to do better,” said Dr Blue. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The 1990s Retro Proposals For Our Health System

As we learned yesterday, the reviews propose that the democratically elected representation on DHBs should be reduced, such that community wishes will be able to be over-ridden by political appointees. In today’s revelations, the reviews also propose a return to the destructive competitive health model of the 1990s. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news