THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 23, 1998
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
Execution of Baha'i in Iran
The President was deeply troubled to learn of the July 21 summary execution
of Iranian citizen Ruhollah Rowhani for the exercise of his Baha'i faith.
The United States condemns this action, which violates the most basic
international norms and universal standards of human rights.
Furthermore, The United States deplores the gravely flawed process by
which Mr. Rowhani was charged and executed, including the absence of due
process or the announcement of a sentence.
The world has been encouraged by the recent statements from Iranian
leaders about the need for rule of law and the rights of individuals. Such
words have little meaning so long as the human rights of the Iranian
people, including the right to worship freely, are not upheld, and until
the persecution of and violence against Iranians of the Baha'i faith stops.
Tuesday's action was the first known execution of a Baha'i since 1992 and
is a most unhopeful sign.
The President urges President Khatami to take the necessary steps to ensure
that others are not victimized for the peaceful expression of their faith.
The United States will continue to monitor closely Iranian treatment of
the Baha'i community, and particularly the treatment of those who remain
imprisoned or under sentence of death for their religious beliefs.
The President wishes to extend his condolences to Mr. Rowhani's family.
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©Copyright 1998, White House