The right to freedom of religion for the Baha’i in Iran
Published: 03 November 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon
The Federal Government has been concerned about the situation of the 300,000-member strong religious Baha’i community in Iran for many years. According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran more than 90 Baha’is are currently in detention in prison in the country. The Federal Government has taken a particularly strong interest in the fate of the seven members of the ad hoc Baha’i leadership committee who were arrested on 5 March and 14 May 2008. After being held for over two years without charge the seven were sentenced on 8 August 2010 to 20 years’ imprisonment each for espionage, propaganda against the government, collusion and collaboration for the purpose of endangering national security and spreading corruption. However, it was widely considered that the real reason for their imprisonment was the fact that they managed the religious and administrative affairs of their community.
On 12 May 2017, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office issued the following statement on the detention of leading members of the Baha’i faith in Iran: (more…)