THE STORY OF MONA (Part 1)
MONA MAHMUDNIZHAD – 1965 – 1983
Mona Mahmudnizhad, a young high school girl, was one of several score Baha'is, including women and teenage girls who were imprisoned in the fall of 1982 because of their Faith by the Islamic Revolutionary authorities in the Iranian city of Shiraz.
The prisoners, including Mona, endured months of abuse, interrogation and torture as the Islamic judges and their revolutionary guards attempted to force them to deny their religion. All refused, and ten of the women, including Mona, were secretly sentenced to death by hanging on June 18, 1983. In a final effort to break their wills, the authorities hanged the women one by one as the others were forced to watch.
Mona asked to be the final victim executed so that she could pray for the strength of each one who was hanged before her. When her turn came, she kissed the rope and put the noose around her own neck.
She was arrested with her father, Yad'u'llah Mahmudnizhad, who was hanged on March 12, 1983, several months before her.
Following is a brief outline of Mona Mahmudnizhad's life, imprisonment and execution, based on accounts of relatives, friends and fellow prisoners.
Reports indicating an intensifying trend of persecution against the Bahá’ís in Iran are causing concern for Bahá’í communities throughout New Zealand. Suzanne Mahon, spokesperson for the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of New Zealand, says reports and documents filtering out of Iran over the last six months indicate a widespread and calculated effort by the government to maintain and gradually intensify the persecution of Iranian Baha'is.
In comments reported yesterday by the Bahá’í World News Service (www.news.bahai.org), principal Bahá’í representative to the United Nations, Bani Dugal, expressed dismay regarding recent information received from Iran.
"The cumulative trend is one of an exceedingly ominous nature, and something of grave concern to Baha'is around the world,” said Ms Dugal.