Sunday, May 16, 2010

Press Release by US State Department on Iran's Persecution of Religious Minorities

The 14th of May marked the second year anniversary of the incarceration of the seven leaders of the Iranian Baha'i community, an ad hoc group of individuals formerly known as "Yaran" [Friends in Iran]. On this occasion the United States Department of State, in one of its press releases, strongly denounced the ongoing persecution of religious minorities in Iran and the unjust treatment and incarceration of these innocent individuals. The entire text of the press release is posted below:

Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release
Washington, DC
May 14, 2010


Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iran

The United States is deeply concerned about the ongoing persecution of Baha'is and other religious minority communities in Iran.

Today marks the second anniversary of the imprisonment of seven Baha’i leaders. Although there have been three hearings of their case since January 2010, no date has yet been set for another hearing, and they continue to be denied access to their attorneys. The United States strongly condemns their continued incarceration as a violation of due process and calls on Iran to meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in February 2010, Iran pledged to abide by international law and highlighted its ethnic and religious diversity. We were disappointed, however, that the Iranian government publicly rejected a UPR recommendation to end discrimination against the Baha'i religious minority. Once again, we join the international community in urging Iran to uphold its obligations to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens.