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Iran: Baha'i Community

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will condemn publicly the recent arrests of members of the Baha'i community in Iran; and whether his Department has attempted to establish the whereabouts of those detained. (212085)

The Government remain deeply concerned that the seven leading members of Iran's Baha'i community are still detained following their arrest over a month ago. The individuals were held incommunicado for a number of weeks but we have recently received confirmation, from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the UK, that most of the group are now known to be in Evin Prison in Tehran. We understand that further arrests of Baha'is have since taken place in Esfahan and Ghaemshahr.

The Government are committed to raising human rights concerns with the Iranian authorities and regularly raise concerns about the ongoing persecution of Iranian Baha'is, both bilaterally and through the EU. On 21 May the EU, with strong UK support, issued a public statement of concern calling for the release of these individuals and an end to the persecution of the Baha'i community. We have also publicly and consistently expressed our concerns about the situation of the Baha'is in Parliament.