WASHINGTON, March 11, 2018. – The Republic of Iran systemically undermines the value of human rights, including those of Shia Muslims in Iran. A broad range of political opposition, as well as ethnic and religious leaders, have expressed disagreement with the system of velayat-e- faqih, or existence of a single supreme leader. Unfortunately, the Shia majority in Iran is a target as much as other religious and ethnic groups in Iran. Including Grand Ayatollah Shirazi.
While Shia Muslims make up the majority faith, there is a minority group of Shia Muslims that promote the freedom of conscience.
In the past and particularly during the period between 1995 to 2000, dozens, if not hundreds of followers of religious leaders were arrested on charges of promoting divergence in Islamic interpretation. Numerous religious figures were ordered under house arrest and prevented from communicating with the public about their disagreement toward the ruling government in Iran.
This oppression does not only target the members of minority groups but whoever speaks against injustice and seeks freedom of thought.
One group particularly targeted is led by Grand Ayatollah Shirazi.
Ayatollah Shirazi speaks against the limitations of freedom of speech, corruption in religious systems and abuse of free peoples. Everyone has the right to seek justice no matter what faith or religion they follow.
Shirazi’s speeches which criticize the Iranian government’s lack of human rights acknowledgment is rarely covered by the media. Not only is Shirazi penalized by the local press, but Iranian authorities also use propaganda against him, accusing him of being an agent of Britain and America.
Many Farsi and Arabic publication have been distributed in Iran against Shirazi.
Unlike others, Shirazi and his followers never seek political a position, as he is a religious figure and not a political entity. Shirazi believes that promoting religion creates an environment of respect, human rights and justice that would positively reinforce social acceptance.
Sayed Hussein Shirazi, son of the Grand Ayatollah Shirazi, arrested
In March, 6th 2018, under direct orders from the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, Iranian Intelligence services stopped the cars carrying Grand Ayatollah Shirazi and his son Sayed Hussein Shirazi as they traveled home from their religious lecture. Agents opened the door, dragged Sayed Hussein Shirazi out of the vehicle, electrocuted him with a taser, and put him in the car and taking him to an unknown place.
In the following day, his family visited the Special Clergy Court (SCC) asking for answers. Shirazi’s eight-year-old girl is knocking the door asking for her father. She says,
“I am 8 years old girl, asking for my father, can I see him? I don’t have a gun; I am only a little girl asking news of my father, Please allow me to see him for a moment”.
Authorities did not open the door nor did they provide the family with information on the Sayed’s whereabouts. Later one person from the back door reached out to them and told the family that Shirazi was in another city and they should not come back again since all orders are coming from the supreme leader himself.
In Iran, clerics are prosecuted in special courts which operate outside the normative judicial system. The fate of Sayed remains unknown, and given the history of violence against non-governmental entities, Shirazi’s followers fear for his livelihood.
 Literally “Leadership under One Man”