Statement On The Trial Of Members Of The Iranian Bahá’i Community

Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell today expressed concern at the imminent trial of seven leading members of the Iranian Bahá’í community.

He said, “I am very concerned at news that seven leading members of the Iranian Bahá’í community, detained since March and May 2008, have been charged with spying for Israel, “insulting religious sanctities” and “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” – charges which could attract the death penalty. The Iranian government appears to be increasingly using vaguely worded charges of this nature to target human rights defenders and religious minorities. It is hard not to conclude that these people are being held solely on account of their religious beliefs or their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and association.

The seven Bahá’ís had to wait over eight months to be notified of the charges against them. They have not been given any access to their lawyer: and their lawyer has not been given access to their case files. This makes it very hard to believe that they will receive a fair trial.

We have also received disturbing reports of systematic discrimination against and harassment of Bahá’ís on the grounds of their religion.

This takes place in the context of a serious deterioration in the human rights environment in Iran over the last few years, including a worsening crackdown on human rights defenders and minority activists, and a sharp increase in the use of the death penalty (there were over 300 executions in 2008, including 8 juvenile executions).

The EU has called several times for the Iranian government to immediately release the seven detainees. Now that they have been charged, the Iranian government must at the very least ensure that the trial is fair, transparent and open to independent observers.

Iran should also uphold fully the right to adopt and practise a religion of choice, and end discrimination against the Bahá’í community.”
http://www.fco.gov.uk/news

13 Responses to “Statement On The Trial Of Members Of The Iranian Bahá’i Community”

  1. oliver Says:

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  2. dean Says:

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  3. Alfonso Says:

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  4. jason Says:

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  5. Nelson Says:

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  6. Gerard Says:

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  7. Terrence Says:

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  8. leo Says:

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  9. doug Says:

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  10. Greg Says:

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  11. steven Says:

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  12. sidney Says:

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  13. willard Says:

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