(U.S. delegation expresses "concern" about Baha'i persecution)
The United Nations -- The U.S. delegation to the U.N. Human Rights
Commission expressed "serious concerns" over "gross violations of human
rights in Iran -- specifically -- the persecution of its Baha'i
The U.S. statement made on April 24 was in response to a draft decision
drawn up by a number of European countries on the "situation of human
rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran." That draft likewise expressed
concern at the "discriminatory treatment of minorities by reason of
their religious beliefs, notably the Baha'is," and mentioned other
violations of human rights.
Following is the official transcript of the U.S. delegation statement:
The United States continues to have serious concerns over gross
violations of human rights in Iran. There are many facets of this which
are addressed by this resolution, but I want to expand on one
specifically -- the persecution of its Baha'i community.
The most recent example of this can be seen in the decision of the
Iranian supreme court to confirm the death sentence for two Iranian
members of the Baha'i faith: Kayvan Kahlajabadi and Binham Mithadqi.
Both of these individuals were arrested without charge seven years ago
and were later sentenced to death by the Islamic revolutionary court of
Karaj for engaging in Baha'i activities. To condemn anyone to death for
practicing his or her religion is a clear and gross violation of the
universal principles of this commission.
This is just the latest instance of a continuing campaign against the
Baha'i community by the government of Iran. We call on it to commute
these death sentences and release both men as well as permit elections
for local spiritual assemblies by the Baha'is, and generally emancipate
the Baha'i community. Thank you
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