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Iran: Bahai Faith

Volume 497: debated on Monday 12 October 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Iran on the detention of Iranian Bahai leaders in Evin prison in Tehran. (290174)

We are extremely concerned that the seven leading members of the Iranian Bahá’i community remain in detention, following their arrest in early 2008. Alongside our EU partners we have called repeatedly for the Iranian government to release the group and to allow independent observation of the judicial proceedings.

In a statement to mark the one year anniversary of their arrest, my hon. Friend, the then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, (Bill Rammell), issued a press statement on 14 May 2009 calling for their release, and on 25 May 2009, the EU reiterated this message in a declaration, urging the Iranian government to reconsider the accusations against the leaders and to allow independent observation of the judicial proceedings.

I met with representatives of the UK National Spiritual Association of the Bahá’is on 2 July 2009, assuring them of our ongoing support, and my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reinforced this message of support in a private meeting with the group on 15 July 2009.