18 June marked the 30th anniversary of the execution of ten Bahá’í women in Shiraz, Iran. Their crime – “Misleading children and youth,” claimed the authorities; in other words, giving school lessons to Bahá’í children and teaching them about their faith.
The anniversary was marked with an interfaith prayer meeting at the National Bahá’í Centre in London. Faith representatives present remembered those ten women, and the shockwaves that rippled through faith communities around the world at the shocking news of their execution in 1983. At the time of their sentencing, the then President of the United States, Ronald Regan, made a plea for clemency.
The youngest of the women executed, Mona Mahmudnizhad, was just sixteen when she was hanged. She was the last of the ten to be executed. The names of the others were Nusrat Yalda’i, ‘Izzat Janami Ishraqi, Roya Ishraqi, Tahirih Siyavushi, Zarrin Muqimi, Shirin Dalvand, Akhtar Sabit, Simin Saberi, and Mahshid Nirumand.