Public Statement by Amnesty International, 22 December 2005
In its letter to Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, head of Iran’s Judiciary, Amnesty International urged that any investigation into Dhabihullah Mahrami’s death in custody should be carried out in conformity with the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions (should be a footnote here) and that any person found responsible for his death should be brought to justice and given a prompt and fair trial. 
Amnesty International also criticised an apparently increasing
pattern of harassment of the Baha’i community which has seen at least 66 Baha’is
arrested since the beginning of 2005, apparently on account of their identity as
Baha’is or their peaceful activities on behalf of the Baha’i community in Iran.
Most have been released but at least nine reportedly remain in prison, including
Mehran Kawsari and Bahram Mashhadi, respectively sentenced to three and one year
prison terms in connection with a letter they addressed to former President
Hojjatoleslam val Moslemin Sayed Mohammad Khatami demanding an end to human
rights violations against Baha’is. Six of the seven others - Afshin Akram,
Shahram Boloori, Vaheed Zamani, Mehraban Farman-Bordari, Sohrab Hamid, and
Hooshang Mohammad-Abadi – were arrested on 8 November 2005 but neither they nor
the ninth man, Behrooz Tavakkoli, are known to have been charged or tried.
Amnesty International believes they may be prisoners of conscience who should be
released immediately and unconditionally.
In addition, members of Iran’s Baha’i community have reportedly been attacked by unidentified assailants in recent months and Baha’i cemeteries and holy sites have been vandalized and destroyed. Some Baha’is have had their homes confiscated by the authorities. Baha’is generally are subject to discriminatory laws and regulations which limit their access to employment and to benefits such as pensions, and for many years young people belonging to the Baha’i community have been denied access to higher education by an official requirement that applicants state their allegiance to Islam or one of three other recognized religions.
ly to persuade them to renounce their faith to improve their chances of gaining access to higher education. In 2004, despite promises that this designation would be removed, only ten of the 800 or so Baha’i applicants who passed were eventually admitted. These ten refused to attend university in protest at the exclusion of their fellow Baha’is.
Amnesty International has urged the Iranian authorities to take steps to ensure that no one in Iran, including those who belong to unrecognized religious minorities, is imprisoned or discriminated against solely on account of their faith or their peaceful religious activities.
 The UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions Recommended by Economic and Social Council resolution 1989/65 of 24 May 1989, state, in Principle 9:
There shall be thorough, prompt and impartial investigation of
all suspected cases of extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions, including
cases where complaints by relatives or other reliable reports suggest unnatural
death in the above circumstances. Governments shall maintain investigative
offices and procedures to undertake such inquiries. The purpose of the
investigation shall be to determine the cause, manner and time of death, the
person responsible, and any pattern or practice which may have brought about
that death. It shall include an adequate autopsy, collection and analysis of all
physical and documentary evidence and statements from witnesses. The
investigation shall distinguish between natural death, accidental death, suicide
... Payvand News - 12/23/05 ... --