Every time I turn to my right, I hear the voice of the lamentation of them that are dear to Thee, whom the infidels have made captives for having believed in Thee and in Thy signs, and for having set their faces towards the horizon of Thy grace and of Thy loving-kindness. And when I turn to my left, I hear the clamour of the wicked doers who have disbelieved in Thee and in Thy signs, and persistently striven to put out the light of Thy lamp which sheddeth the radiance of Thine own Self over all that are in Thy heaven and all that are on Thy earth. Bahai teachings

We are used to seeing billboards along the sides of highways advertising everything from restaurants just around the bend to new TV programmes to political candidates. But sometimes they provide something just a little different.

If you are out and about in central London this weekend, you may well see a mobile billboard travelling the streets and visiting familiar landmarks. Sponsored by United4Iran, a non-partisan global network of Iranian and non-Iranian human rights activists working to promote fundamental human and civil rights in Iran, the billboard highlights the plight of the seven Baha’i leaders who are now in their third year of unjust imprisonment in Tehran. Their crime is to be Baha’is, nothing more. You can read about their imprisonment here.

Their trial is set to continue today, 12 June.

London 11 June 2010

The London initiative is just one of a number of activities being held around the world on 12 June to highlight the situation of the Baha’is in Iran, as well as other injustices perpetrated there. About 70 cities are hosting activities and similar billboards to the one in London will be travelling around World Cup host city Johannesburg and Los Angeles.

Thirty-nine years ago today I married an Iranian, whose family had left Iran at the height of the persecutions against the Baha’is in the mid-1950s. Persecution, torture, human rights violations, injustice, arbitrary arrests, executions, unlawful imprisonments have been features of Iran for almost the whole of this time.

Why would a country wish this to be its legacy?

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