Human Rights

Universal human rights stem from the inherent dignity of every human being.

"International peace is the assurance of the welfare of all humankind.”
-The Baha'i Writings

Our Vision

The Vital Importance of Justice

Guided by beliefs in the inherent dignity of the human being, the fundamental equality of all people, and the vital importance of justice, we have been actively engaged in human rights work in the United States for over 30 years. We work extensively on religious persecution issues, particularly the enduring human rights abuses perpetrated against the Baha’i communities in Iran and, more recently, Yemen.

Our Office actively engages in efforts to develop relationships with members of the US Congress and pass resolutions related to human rights violations in Iran. We also encourage and promote U.S. ratification of key international human rights treaties and strengthening U.S. engagement with international institutions and mechanisms.

Iran & Yemen

Persecution of Baha'is

Baha'is in Iran, and, more recently, Yemen, are subject to systematic persecution based solely on their religious beliefs.

The Iranian government adheres to an official policy of systematic repression and abuse against Baha’is, who, at 300,000, are the largest non-Muslim religious minority in the country. Between 1978 and 1998, over 200 Baha’is were killed, and thousands more were tortured and imprisoned.

Today, Baha’is are subject to arbitrary interrogations, arrests, and imprisonment, and they suffer vandalism, raids, and attacks on their homes and businesses. Baha’is are denied government jobs and barred from attending university, and they are the targets of an ongoing campaign of vilification in the state-sponsored media.

In Yemen, the Baha'i community numbers in the small thousands, and lived for many years mostly undisturbed. In recent years, however, the Iranian-backed Houthi authorities controlling the northern part of the country have subjected the Baha'i community to intense persecution. On January 2nd, 2018, the Houthi authorities sentenced Hamed bin Haydara, a Yemeni Baha'i, to public execution because of his faith. He continues to be imprisoned, and his case remains unresolved. Several other Baha'is remain imprisoned in Yemen, and others still have been indicted on baseless charges.

Our Office advocates for the rights of Baha’is in Iran and Yemen, in hopes of hastening the day when Baha’is – and all citizens of Iran and Yemen – will be guaranteed their freedom, dignity, and human rights.

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