asked Her Majesty's Government:
What response they and the European Union presidency have received to representations made to the Government of Iran concerning (a) persecution of members of the Baha'i faith; and (b) the arrest of seven national leaders of that faith in March and May. [HL4233]
The Government remain very concerned by the treatment of the Iranian Baha'i community at the hands of the Iranian regime and the ongoing detention of all members of the informal Baha'i leadership in Tehran who were arrested in May. These concerns have been raised both bilaterally and through the EU at least five times this year. On 21 May, following a recommendation from the UK, the EU presidency declared its concern about the systematic discrimination and harassment of the Baha'is and called on Iran to uphold the right to practise a religion of choice and to release the six members who were arrested on 14 May. At the last session of the UN Human Rights Council on 6 June, the UK and the EU issued statements about specific issues of concern. Both statements referred to the Baha'is detained in Iran and called for their release. The December 2007 resolution on Iran's human rights situation adopted by the UN General Assembly also secured a strong message of international concern at the situation of the Baha'is in Iran.
Regrettably, there has been no response from the Iranian Government regarding this issue yet. However, we will continue to raise our concerns and to call for their release.