ADL Says Iranian Attempt to Monitor Bahais Sets 'Dangerous Precedent'
New York, NY, April 3, 2006 … Disturbed at reports that the Iranian regime issued orders to state police forces to identify members of the Bahai community and monitor their activities, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said the directive "sets a dangerous precedent" and is reminiscent of the laws imposed on European Jews in the 1930s.
"These actions by the Iranian government are reminiscent of the steps taken against Jews in Europe and a dangerous step toward the institution of Nuremberg-type laws," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This clear attempt to step-up persecution of the Bahai community in Iran sets a dangerous precedent. Since the Iranian Revolution, the Bahais have suffered religious persecution and bigotry in Iran, but this step raises it to the next level."
The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief recently revealed the existence of a confidential letter from the Chairman of the Command Headquarters of Iran's Armed Forces ordering the Ministry of Information, the Revolutionary Guard and the Police Force to identify and collect information about members of the Bahai faith.
The Bahai community is the largest non-Muslim minority in Iran, with an estimated 300,000 to 350,000 members.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.