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

Greek Riddles:
Gordon Campbell On The Recent Smackdown Over Greece

There had been a fortnight of fevered buildup. Yet here we are in the aftermath of the February 28 showdown between the new Syriza government in Greece and the European Union “troika” and… no-one seems entirely sure what happened. Did the asteroid miss Earth?

It seems to have. The EU still exists. Syriza is now claiming a victory of sorts. It doesn’t help that the only people who do appear to be sure (the Greeks buckled) are claiming the exact opposite to what the other group (the Greeks won!) are saying. Plus, there are bets either way e.g. Bloomberg News: “Its too early to say who caved in to whom.” More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Whether NZ Troops Are The Least Of Islamic State’s Problems

Given that it has been politically packaged and sold as a training mission, the Iraq deployment announced yesterday by Prime Minister John Key seemed to be mysteriously short of actual trainers... The other wing of the argument is whether a troop deployment is (a) the only effective way and (b) the appropriate time to combat Islamic State. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news