“As a Holocaust survivor I am calling on the people of Ireland and the international community to protect the Baha’i community in Iran.
On June 8th a UN statement has revealed that their very existence may be under threat.
Two UN experts, Special Rapporteurs Heiner Bielefeldt and Ahmed Shaheed have said that the current state-led incitement to hatred goes beyond even stripping the Iranian Baha’is of their rights and puts them in a very dangerous position. The UN have renewed their call on the Government of Iran to end state-sanctioned discrimination against the Baha’is. It is most important to stress that if members of the government do verbal attacks on a vulnerable community it encourages acts of violence. That’s what happened in Germany, my native Slovakia and other parts of Europe during the Nazi era. People that we lived with for generations turned against us, betrayed us and in many instances violently attacked us.
Nowadays, I spend most of my time travelling all over Ireland speaking with young people about my own experiences in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The reason I do this is that I want to emphasise the necessity for everyone to stand up whenever they witness injustice or abuse, and not be a silent bystander.
In the same way I am now asking the people and government of Ireland not to stand by and allow this sinister escalating threat to the Baha’is in Iran.”