Skip to main content

Iran: Baha’i Faith

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the government of Iran on the seven Baha’i leaders who have been under arrest in Iran for the last 12 months. (276939)

[holding answer 1 June 2009]: We have repeatedly expressed our concerns to the Iranian Government regarding the treatment of the seven Baha’i leaders. The EU, with strong UK support, has called for their immediate release on several occasions.

I issued a statement on 16 February 2009, backed by an EU statement on 17 February 2009, expressing our concern at the charges against them and calling for the Iranian Government to allow independent observation of the judicial proceedings. I then issued a further statement on 14 May 2009 to mark the one year anniversary of their arrest. In this statement I reiterated concerns for their well-being and again called for the Iranian Government to ensure that these individuals are protected and given a fair trial in accordance with international standards.

The UK will continue to urge Iran to put an end to persecution of religious minorities and to respect 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.