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Iran: Baha'i Faith

Volume 492: debated on Tuesday 12 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of attacks on Baha’is in the Iranian town of Semnan on 25 February 2009; and if he will make a statement. (272573)

We have received a series of worrying reports regarding anti-Baha’i activities in Semnan, including looting, arbitrary arrests and the desecration of a Baha’i cemetery. In December 2008 agents of the Ministry of Intelligence raided 20 Baha’i homes in the town, and on 25 February 2009 at least two of these homes were subsequently attacked with petrol bombs.

We have expressed our concerns to the Iranian Government and called on Iran to put an end to the persecution of religious minorities and to respect and protect the right to freedom of religion and belief, as described in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a State Party.