Tag Archives: Shirin Dalvand

Remembering the Baha’is in Iran

25 years on, sister of executed Bahá’í prays for change
Few incidents in Iran of recent decades have been more shocking than the group execution of ten Bahá’í women in Shiraz on 18 June 1983. Their crime? Teaching children following the government’s ban on Bahá’í pupils from attending schools… (continue reading on Baha’i News UK)

The above article refers to ten young women in Iran, 25 years ago today, who were killed for being Bahá’í. One of them, Shrin Dalvand, was Ladan’s aunt.

Most of Shirin’s family were living in the UK by 1983, when Shirin was arrested a visiting card was issued to a family member to see her in prison before the execution, below is a photo of that visiting card, enlarged is the section where the crime is detailed, in that space it simply has the letter “B”.

Between 1979 and 1998 more than 200 members of the Bahá’í Faith were killed in Iran. The persecution of the Bahá’í, however, did not stop with the last execution. Two years ago the Bahá’í community found evidence that a systematic campaign was under way to identify members of the Bahá’í Faith and monitor their activities. Bahá’í youth, who had earlier been permitted to return to education when universities sopped asking a person’s religion upon enrolment, are again being denied access to, or continuation of, higher education at the point where it becomes known that they are Bahá’í.

Most recently, seven individuals who formed an ad-hoc coordinating committee for the Bahá’í in Iran , were arrested and are being held incommunicado.

Mrs. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr. Behrouz Tavakkoli, and Mr. Vahid Tizfahm were arrested in Tehran on 14th may, Mrs. Mahvash Sabet was arrested in Mashhad on 5th March.

The Bahá’í community, around the world, are seriously concerned for their safety in this escalation which is reminiscent of similar events in the early 80’s when members of two national governing bodies of the Iranian Bahá’í either went missing or were executed.

More on this story can be read here

18th June 1983

Shirin Dalvand with Ladan

18th June marks the anniversary of the execution, for being followers of the Baha’i Faith, of ten women in Iran in 1983. Among the ten women was Ladan’s aunt, Shirin Dalvand, pictured above holding Ladan several years earlier in Shiraz.

Baha’is were persecuted and put to death in very large numbers, this is not the anniversary of a rare event. The occasion is noted for the fact that all the Baha’is executed on this occasion were women, many of them young, one of them only seventeen years old. Shirin herself was twenty-five at the time. Ladan had fond memories of her and Shirin displayed great affection toward her too. Shirin’s parents, her brother and two sisters, all live in Newcastle and the family remember Shirin, and the numerous other Baha’is who’s lives were taken because of their Faith, at this time.

18th June 1983
Persection of the Baha’i commun ity in Iran
Music Video about Mona
Mona’s Dream, a film in production

The Ten Female Martyrs of Shiraz

On 18th June 1983 ten women (pictured above), one of whom was only 17 years old, were executed in Iran for teaching Baha’i children more about their Faith. They were among more than 200 individuals who were killed in Iran for being Baha’is but their story has stood out throught the years as they were all women and many of them are very young.Shirin Dalvand, pictured bottom left, was 25 years old when she was executed, Shirin was Ladan’s aunt and, while Baha’is beleive it an honour to die for your beliefs, Ladan has always been very upset about the loss of her aunt. Ladan was only seven at the time of Shirin Dalvand’s execution, it is hard enough as an adult to attempt to comprehend that a government should seek to kill people on basis of their religion.

Sadly there are renewed fears over the safety of the Baha’is currently living in Iran, following an instruction from Ayatollah Khamenei that all Baha’is living in Iran should all be identified and their activities monitored.

In Newcastle we decided, at the last minute, to hold a devotional meeting to commemorate the lives of those martyred in Iran, including Shirin, and to pray for the safety of those Baha’is living there now. In spite of the very short notice there was good attendance, and the basic programme of a few prayers and a little music and video was very moving.

There are several resources on the Internet relating to the executions on 18th June 1983, executions which followed on from several other Baha’is being executed in Shiraz for being Baha’is, some of whom were related to these ten woman. Among the resources available is a music video by Canadian pop musician Doug Cameron called “Mona and the Children”, there is also a web page about the event here, and you can find the latest on thPersection of the Baha’i commun ity in Iran from here