Friday, June 15, 2007

Canada an Advocate for the Baha'is of Iran & Egypt

A recent article published on the website of "the Baha'i Community of Canada", on 30 April 2007, describes a recent meeting between two officials representing the Canadian Baha'i Community and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, regarding the critical situation currently facing the Baha'is of Iran and Egypt. The Canadian Community's website is linked here, and a copy of the article is reprinted below:

Bahá'í representatives meet with Foreign Affairs Minister on serious situation in Iran and Egypt

OTTAWA, ON, 30 April 2007 (CBNS) -- The Honourable Peter MacKay, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, met with two Bahá'í representatives on 16 April 2007 to discuss the deteriorating situation of the Bahá'ís in Iran and Egypt.

Karen McKye, Secretary-General of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, and Susanne Tamas, Director of the Bahá'í community's Office of Governmental Relations, briefed the Minister on recent developments that point to systematic attempts on the part of Iranian and Egyptian authorities to suppress the rights of their countries' Bahá'í communities.

The meeting followed on efforts by local Bahá'í representatives in the past year to inform their Members of Parliament of the accumulating evidence of the Iranian government's strategy to slowly suffocate its country's largest religious minority.

Recent developments include actions on the part of Iranian officials to expel the few Bahá'í students registered to attend university this year (see story), the harassment of Iranian Bahá'í schoolchildren in classrooms (see story), and a ruling by Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court that makes it impossible for Bahá'ís to receive identification cards without lying about their faith (see story).

These development follow in turn on other indicators of increased persecution to the Bahá'í community of Iran, including short-term arrests (see story), the official listing and monitoring of Bahá'ís and their activities (see story), and a wave of spurious attacks on the Bahá'í Faith in government-controlled media (see story).

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