The vicious persecution of Iran’s Baha’i community continued this past week. A court sentenced 24 Baha’i to prison sentences of up to 11 years. These are heavy sentences even by Iranian standards.
Their crime? Being Baha’i, and nothing more. The court made not even a pretense that they had committed acts of violence or otherwise broken the law. Their faith has been criminalized in the Islamic Republic.
The next time we read about President Rouhani’s "moderate" government, it is worth remembering these sentences and all the rest of the oppression of Baha’i in Iran. In Rouhani’s years as president, the oppression of the Baha’i, the jailing of their leaders, the exclusion of their children from educational opportunities, and the criminalization of their faith has grown worse and worse. Some "moderate."