Facebook Twitter

HOUSE RESOLUTION CONDEMNS IRAN FOR PERSECUTING BAHAIS

SHARE HOUSE RESOLUTION CONDEMNS IRAN FOR PERSECUTING BAHAIS

The House on Tuesday passed a resolution by Rep. Wayne Owens, D-Utah, condemning Iran for continued persecution and murder of Bahais.

Muslims - who believe Mohammed is the world's last prophet - consider Bahais as heretics because they believe in an additional prophet, Baha'ullah, who lived in the 19th century. Bahais are the largest religious minority in Iran.Owens, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Iran in recent years had appeared to improve its treatment of Bahais, but then it recently executed a prominent member.

"Just two months ago, Bahman Samandari, a prominent Iranian Bahai, was arrested and promptly executed. No charges were filed, no meaningful judicial proceedings, no appeals. Just a cold, calculated summary execution," Owens told the House.

He said Samandari's family did not learn about the execution for weeks, and then the government would not tell family members where it had buried Samandari.

Owens said his widow located the correct cemetery by checking the graves registration at all cemeteries in Tehran. But the government will still not give her the precise location of his grave.

"I want to publicly extend my condolences to his widow and family and to strongly urge the Iranian government to immediately disclose to the Samandari family the location of the grave," Owens said.

"Iran is attempting to work its way back into the civilized world. But satisfying the West outside of its borders while depriving its citizens of their fundamental human rights inside its borders is unacceptable.

"So long as Iran continues to oppress the Bahai community and other minorities, it must be repudiated."