Canada's Parliament Condemns Persecution Of Baha'is In Iran

April 2, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Bahá’í World News Service

Canada's House of Commons has unanimously adopted a strongly worded motion condemning the persecution of Baha'is in Iran and calling on the Iranian government to release Baha'i leaders imprisoned in Tehran.

The motion, which was approved on 30 March, stated that the accusations against the Baha'is – espionage for Israel, insulting religious sanctities, and propaganda against the Islamic republic – are charges "frequently used by Iranian authorities to target human rights defenders and religious minorities, and there is nothing in the history or teachings of the Baha'i community to lend any credence to such charges."

The motion was addressed in a debate on the floor of the House of Commons which lasted some 90 minutes. Members of Parliament from all four of Canada's political parties spoke of the long history of persecution suffered by Iran's Baha'is and the current "campaign of hatred and incitement" against the Baha'i community there, noting that these current attacks "constitute a number of warning signs that often foreshadow widespread ethnic, racial or religious cleansing."

Decrying the "persistent and pervasive" violation of the human rights not only of Iran's Baha'is but of all Iranian citizens who have suffered repression at the hands of extremist elements in that country, members of Parliament also expressed deep admiration for Iran's people and "the enormous contribution" that Iran's "great civilization" has made to humankind.