Frankfurt am Main, 17 July 2020 – German parliamentarians, human rights activists and health experts call on Iranian authorities to stop arbitrary detentions and convictions of Bahá’ís immediately
Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,
The International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) and the Society for Threatened Peoples (GfbV) as well as the listed German parliamentarians, human rights activists and health experts urgently appeal to you to immediately release the Bahá’ís imprisoned in your country from prison and to drop all charges against followers of this religious minority.
Prisoners are particularly at risk as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is also affecting more and more people in Iran. They live in prisons in extremely cramped and often unhygienic conditions, making it generally impossible for them to maintain the necessary safety distance and hygiene rules. In addition, their access to medical care is limited. The outbreak of the virus in some of your prisons puts countless lives in danger.
The Iranian authorities are stepping up persecution of Bahá’ís despite the ongoing health crisis during the Corona pandemic. At least 77 people have been arrested on unsubstantiated charges, tried, charged, sentenced to prison terms of up to 13 years or imprisoned in the past two months. At a court hearing in Shiraz, a justice official threatened to “uproot” the Bahá’í community in the city. Iran’s state-controlled media are intensifying public defamation of Bahá’ís through increasingly coordinated dissemination of disinformation about their faith, using television channels, newspapers, radio stations, websites, and social media to denigrate Bahá’ís.
We call on the Iranian authorities to release the Bahá’ís, who are imprisoned solely for their faith, to acquit them of all charges and to allow them to practice their faith freely.
Dr. Bärbel Kofler, Human Rights Commissioner of the Germany Government
MP Gyde Jensen, Chair of the Human Rights Committee in the Federal Parliament
MP Filiz Polat
MP Frank Heinrich
MP Prof. Dr. Heribert Hirte
MP Kai Gehring
MP Margarete Bause
MP Martin Patzelt
MP Omid Nouripour
MP Yasmin Fahimi
MEP Klaus Buchner
MEP Michael Bloss
Berivan Aymaz, Member of State Parliament
Martina Feldmayer, Member of State Parliament
Markus Löning, former Human Rights Commissioner of the Germany Government
Dr. Gundula Negele, University Augsburg
Helmut Gabel, Representative of Karamat e.V.
Prof. Dr. Ingo Hofmann
Dr. Kamal Sido, Middle East Officer, GfbV
Michael Leh, Board member, IGFM
Dr. Shamim Rafat, Transparency for Iran e.V.
Prof. Dr. Siegfried Scharrer, Protestant University Nuremberg
Rebecca Schönenbach, President, Frauen für Freiheit e.V.
Dr. phil. Christin Çelebi, DGPP, University Potsdam
Dr. med. Claudia von Both
Dr. med. Daniela Liebscher
Dr. med. habil. Hamid Peseschkian, Leader of Wiesbadens Academy for Psychotherapy
Dr. med. Hans Martin Noltenius
PD Dr. Dr. med. Neysan Rafat, University Medicine Mannheim
Dr. med. Roya Schayani-Mühlschlegel