February 28, 2024

In August 1980, all nine members of the First National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran and two of their colleagues were arrested and taken to a secret location by undercover agents where they were executed. There was no news published or broadcast about the arrests, harassment or subsequent execution of the Baha’i community manager. Credible and verified news was leaked and the details of the events remained veiled and hidden in the security layers of the Islamic Republic of Iran. My father, Dr. Kambiz Sadeghzadeh Millani, then 42 years old, was a member of that assembly, and I was 13 years old. More than 200 other Baha’i citizens were also executed in Iran in the first decade after the revolution.The main point is that, in addition to the execution of Baha’is in the country (solely because of their religious beliefs), their human rights were frequently violated. This included being fired from all government positions and other public offices, and from jobs such as professors or school teachers. Many were denied their pensions and given long prison terms. Baha’i students were forced out of school.None of these events were reflected in local media or publications abroad, and many human rights activists and media personalities, generally, were not allowed to bring up the problems and difficulties of the Baha’is in the perspective of human rights. The truth was that the blackmark against reporting or commenting about human rights violations against the Baha’i people prevented the media from bringing up these cases.