Right now there are 100 prisoners in Iran.
They call themselves Baha'is, and they have been arrested only because of their beliefs.
In Iran's prisons, Baha'is are interrogated daily and often physically tortured in a bid for them to convert their religion.
If a prisoner signs a document, stating that they have converted to Islam, then they will be granted their freedom.
Baha'is are being targeted and persecuted through arrests and imprisonment, banishment from attending University, expulsion from schools, desecration of their graves and denial of employment.
Since the beginning of The Baha'i Faith in 1844, followers of the now 300,000 large community in Iran have undergone persecution, torture and execution.. They are the largest religious minority in Iran.
Their only crime is having a belief.
Persecutions have increased in recent years, as the 7 Baha'i leaders of Iran (known as the "Yaran"), were arrested in 2008 and each given a 20 year sentence for being Baha'is. It's now been 5 years and although there has been growing support from the United Nations and government leaders, they are still imprisoned.
I am creating this petition because I believe that free will is our first human right. We have the right to believe in anything we choose.
All the Baha'is in prisons today are innocent and must be released.
For the past 5 years, I have developed a short film called "Section 209". This story shows the reality of Baha'i prisoners in Iran, and the gruesome interrogation and torture they face.
I hope my film "Section 209" inspires you to support our campaign.
Please join me in asking the Islamic Republic of Iran to release all Baha'is imprisoned in Iran.
You can learn more about our film and campaign here: www.section209.com
- President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
- Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations New York
Dear Hassan Rouhani,
I am disappointed to learn that 100 Baha'is are in prisons in Iran because of their beliefs.
In your prisons, Baha'is face daily interrogations with physical and mental tortured.
All 100 inmates are offered freedom, only if they recant their religious beliefs and convert to Islam.
Amongst these innocent people are 7 Baha'i leaders, known as the Yaran, who each face a 20-year prison sentence. Their names are Mahvash Sabet, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Vahid Tizfahm.
I believe that every human being on this planet has the right to freedom of thought.
You have the opportunity to uphold justice and show the world that Iran is a country that promotes peace and acceptance.
The Baha'i Faith is an independent world religion that is recognised internationally. Baha'is obey their government, they have no political motives or ties and their religion teaches the unity of mankind.
We request that you release all Baha'i prisoners in Iran.
We kindly urge you to take action now.
Section 209 started this petition with a single signature, and now has 293 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.