Memorial Event in Commemoration of 40th Anniversary of the Execution of 10 Baha'i Women in Shiraz, Iran

10 women

On June 19, 2023, the Human Rights Defense International, in collaboration with the Office of Public Affairs of the Baha`is of India, organized a solemn memorial event to honor the memory of the 10 Baha'i women who were tragically executed in Shiraz, Iran, 40 years ago. The event took place at the Indian Law Institute in New Delhi. This was part of the global campaign initiated by the Baha’i International Community to commemorate 40th anniversary of these ten valiant women.

10 women
Mr. Rajesh Gogna, Secretary-General of Human Rights Defense International, delivered the welcome address and opening remarks, setting the tone for an evening of remembrance and reflection. The event aimed to shed light on the enduring struggle for gender equality and justice, while paying tribute to the courageous souls who lost their lives in the pursuit of these principles.
Ms. Nilakshi Rajkhowa Director, Office of Public Affairs of Baha`is of India presented a compelling background of the event, emphasizing the importance of sharing the stories and sacrifices of these brave women. A short film was screened, providing a poignant portrayal of the lives and aspirations of the executed women.

10 women
Miss Yogita Bhayana, a dedicated social activist shared her insights on the significance of the event and the on-going fight for human rights.
Ms. Jyotika Kalra, a former member of the National Human Rights Commission and Dr. GV. Rao, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India delivered thought-provoking speeches, emphasizing the need for collective action to uphold the principles of equality, freedom, and dignity for all.
In a statement issued by the Human Rights Defence International stated that, “This occasion serves as a reminder of the relentless persecution faced by the Baha’i community and the imperative to advocate for justice and religious freedom”.
Mr. Naresh Shandilya, a renowned poet, recited a poignant poem honoring the souls of the executed women, evoking emotions of remembrance and solidarity. Additionally, a heartfelt song was performed, dedicated to the memory of the 10 executed women.
A twitter storm also took place one day prior to this event where thousands of people including political leaders, women activists, human rights advocates, youth leaders, journalists and concerned citizens of India and around the globe have joined and expressed their solidarity towards the campaign.

Ms. Nuzarath Jahan, National Vice President (Athawale) of Republican Party of India, Mr. Rohit Gandhi, Editor, Democracy News Live, Mr. Sandeep Unnithan, Editor of News Nine, Dr. Nuzhat Parveen Khan, Academician and author, Col ( Dr. ) DPK Pillay, former officer in Indian Army, Ms. Divya Jain, Chairperson of Young FICCI, Mr. Murari Jha, , a mentor teacher of the Directorate of Education among many others participated in the twitter storm. Their solidarity and support contributed to the resonance of the event’s message.
The memorial event successfully highlighted the tragic loss of these innocent lives and condemned the human rights violations that led to their execution. By sharing their stories and remembering their sacrifices, the event fostered awareness and ignited a collective determination to strive for a world where equality, freedom, and dignity prevail.