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Iran: Bahai Sect

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Iranian government on the treatment of the Bahá'í community in that country. (143302)

We continue to have concerns about the situation of religious minorities in Iran and treatment of the Bahá'í community in particular. We often receive reports of discrimination against Bahá'ís in Iran.

We most recently addressed the situation of the Bahá'ís in our dialogue with the Iranian authorities on 25 May, through an EU Statement. We will continue to raise this issue bilaterally and through the EU.

We have pressed the Iranian authorities on many occasions to take seriously their international human rights obligations, uphold the right to freedom of religion and belief as described in article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and address the intimidation and discrimination suffered by Iranian Bahá'ís. We also take action at the UN, and in December 2006, we along with all EU countries co-sponsored a resolution on human rights in Iran, which expressed serious concern at:

"the escalation and increased frequency of discrimination and other human rights violations against members of the Bahá'í Faith".