Professor Jaya Ramji-Nogales recently joined lawyers worldwide in signing an open letter addressed to the head of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, Mr. Mohammad Javad Larijani, asking him to acknowledge and take steps to remedy the persecution of the Baha’is in Iran. In the letter, twenty-five prominent professors, lawyers, and judges from around the world call attention to a recently established website that evidences the persecution of the Baha’is over the past decades. The website was created in response to rising interest both internationally and within Iran by journalists, researchers, activists, and others to understand the depth and breadth of the persecution.
The open letter calls on Mr. Larijani to review the contents of the new website and to reconsider statements he and other Iranian officials have made to deny the discrimination against the Baha’is. According to the letter, the persecution, as detailed by the website, “represents violations of international law, including a number of treaties to which Iran is a party,” and “demonstrates a breach of Iran’s [own] obligations.” The signatories hail from various countries throughout the world, such as Brazil, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They ask: “How can human rights be respected when innocent individuals are arbitrarily arrested, tortured, and imprisoned for many years; or when they are legally deprived of the right to seek justice for crimes committed against them and when the perpetrators are treated with impunity?”