USCIRF Condemns Crackdown on Baha’i Religious Observance, Land Ownership in Iran

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The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) condemns the alarming escalation of government measures targeting Baha’is in Iran on the basis of their faith.

On December 24, 2020, Branch 2 of the Revolutionary Court of Hormozgan Province issued a verdict against eight Baha’is in Bandar Abbas banning them from participating in religious gatherings and requiring them to attend five “sectarian counseling” sessions with professors at the Andisheh Sajjadieh Institute. The ruling comes in the wake of court decisions declaring it illegal for Baha’is to own land in the town of Ivel and excusing 11 perpetrators who destroyed 50 Baha’i houses in the town in June 2010 and seized the land on which they were built.

The United States must work with like-minded governments to confront Iran’s severe persecution of the Baha’i community,” said USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin. “We urge the incoming administration to raise these egregious religious freedom violations as part of any engagement with the government of Iran.”