Abdorrahman Boroumand Center

for Human Rights in Iran

https://www.iranrights.org
Omid, a memorial in defense of human rights in Iran
One Person’s Story

Yunes Noruzi Iranzad

About

Age: 58
Nationality: Iran
Religion: Baha'i
Civil Status: Unknown

Case

Date of Killing: October 28, 1984
Location of Killing: Karaj, Tehran Province, Iran
Mode of Killing: Hanging
Charges: Unknown charge
Age at time of alleged offense: 56

About this Case

News of the execution of Mr. Yuness Noruzi Iranazad, son of Abdollah and Ma’ssumeh, was published in the Archives of Baha’i Persecution in Iran website (June 13, 2019) and by the Campaign to Stop Harassment and Imprisonment of Baha’i Citizens – List of Baha’i Martyrs and Prominent Persons (January 10, 2017). Additional information about this case was obtained from Mr. Noruzi Iranzad’s Death Certificate (November 5, 1984) and from the Negah website (October 24, 2017).

Mr. Noruzi Iranzad was among 282 individuals whose name was published in a United Nations Report on the Human Rights Situation in Iran, dated November 13, 1985. The Report contains a list entitled “Individuals said to have been arbitrarily or summarily executed in the Islamic Republic: 1984 – 1985”.

Mr. Noruzi Iranzad was born into a Baha’i family on August 9, 1926, in the town of Marand in Eastern Azarbaijan Province. He earned a high school diploma and was employed by the Education Ministry in the city of Abadan. He worked as a teacher for a while but was fired because of his belief in the Baha’i faith. He then worked for Bank Melli in the town of Sirjan for a while, and retired in 1979 in Tehran. His retirement pension was cut off in 1981 because of his religious beliefs.

He moved to the city of Karaj after his retirement in order to proselytize the Baha’i faith, and became a member of the local Spiritual Assembly* and handled the affairs of the Baha’i community in his place of residence.

The Baha’is in the Islamic Republic of Iran: Background

The Baha’i religious community is the largest minority group in Iran, with approximately 300,000 members in 1979 (more current figures are not available).*  The authorities of the Islamic Republic have subjected Baha’is religious  to systematic harassment and persecution, depriving them of their most fundamental human rights. The Baha’i religion is not recognized under the Constitution of the Islamic Republic, and Iranian authorities refer to it as a heresy. As a result, the Baha’is have been denied the rights associated with the status of a religious minority; they cannot profess and practice their faith and are banned from public functions. Discrimination under the law and in practice has subjected them to abuse and violence. **

Arrest and detention

On July 27, 1983, Mr. Noruzi was arrested at his home in Karaj and taken to Tehran’s Evin Prison. He was “severely tortured for several months”. (Archives of Baha’i Persecution in Iran). Mr. Noruzi Iranzad was in prison for one year and three months.

Trial

No information is available on Mr. Noruzi’s trial.

Charges

The charge brought against Mr. Noruzi is not known.

Evidence of guilt

The report of this execution does not contain information regarding the evidence provided against Mr. Noruzi.

Defense

No information is available on Mr. Noruzi’s defense.

Judgment

On October 28, 1984, Mr. Yuness Noruzi Iranzad and one other individual were hanged at Tehran’s Evin Prison.

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* ‘Slow Death for Iran’s Baha’is’ by Richard N. Ostling, Time Magazine,20 February 1984. Also see ‘The Persecution of the Baha’is of Iran, 1844-1984, by Douglas Martin, Baha’i Studies,volume 12/13, 1984, p. 3. There is no information about the current number of Baha’is in Iran.
** The Islamic Republic Penal Code grants no rights to Baha’is, and the courts have denied them the right to redress or to protection against assault, murder, and other forms of persecution and abuse. In so doing, the courts have treated Baha’is as unprotected citizens or “apostates,” citing eminent religious authorities whose edicts are considered a source of law equal to acts of Parliament. The Founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, made execution a punishment for the crime of apostasy and decreed that a Muslim would not be punished for killing an apostate.
Banishment from public functions has seriously damaged the Baha’is’ professional, economic, and social lives. Soon after the revolution, a Ministry of Labor directive called for the dismissal from public office and all governmental organizations and associations of those “who belong to any of the misguided sects recognized by all Muslims as heretical deviations from Islam, or to organizations whose doctrine and constitution are based on rejection of the divinely-revealed religions.” Finally, the mandatory requirement of specifying religion in application forms and official documents (lifted recently in some areas under international pressure) has seriously limited Baha’is’ freedoms and opportunities in all areas of their lives including divorce, inheritance, access to universities and travel.
In practice, since 1980, thousands of Baha’is have lost their jobs, pensions, businesses, properties and educational opportunities. By banning the Baha’i administration including Spiritual Assemblies -  the elected bodies that lead and administer the affairs of Baha’i communities at both local and national levels -  the Islamic Republic has denied Baha’is the right to meet, elect, and operate their religious institutions. Further, the Iranian government has executed at least 200 Baha’is and has imprisoned, tortured, and pressured to convert to Islam scores more.
Because of the unanimous international condemnation of the persecution of this quietist, apolitical religious community, Iranian authorities do not always admit that the Baha’is are being punished for their religious beliefs. Therefore, judicial authorities have often charged Baha’is with offenses such as “being involved in counter-revolutionary activities,” “having supported the former regime,” “being agents of Zionism,” or “being involved with prostitution, adultery, and immorality.”

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