October 23, 2009

House Denounces Treatment of Baha’is in Iran

Washington DC – The House of Representatives passed a resolution yesterday condemning the persecution of Baha’is by the government of Iran. House Resolution 175 was sponsored by Rep. Mark S. Kirk (R-IL), and passed with a vote of 407-2. The resolution condemns the Iranian government for violating the rights of members of the Baha’i minority, and also calls on Iran to release seven leaders of the Baha’i community who were arrested during the Spring of 2008.

In statement made after the resolution passed, Rep. Kirk said “Today, the House of Representatives sends a signal to the Iranian regime…To the dictators in Iran we say, release your political prisoners, especially release your Baha’i prisoners, and end your ignorant and uncultured persecution of the peaceful Baha’is.”

The seven Baha’i coordinators, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naeimi, Saeid Rezaie, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mahvash Sabet, Vahid Tizfahm, Raha Sabet, Sasan Taqva, and Haleh Roohi, were arrested by the Iranian government and accused of being linked to foreign elements. However, the Baha’i International Community has maintained that they were detained as a result of their religious affiliation.

Members of the Baha’i faith represent Iran’s largest non-Muslim religious group. Iranian Baha’is have suffered from government persecution since the 1979 Revolution. 




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