Baha'i community in Iran

Media release

6 May 2013

May 14 this year marks the fifth anniversary of the detention of seven national leaders of the Baha'i community in Iran. It is an anniversary we commemorate with regret.

The Australian Government reiterates its concerns at continuing human rights abuses in Iran including those affecting the Baha'i community. These concerns were most recently voiced in March this year, in a statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

In that statement, Australia expressed its concern at the use of the death penalty, intimidation and arbitrary arrest of human rights and political activists, suppression of personal freedoms and the treatment of ethnic and religious minorities, including Baha'is. We also supported renewal of the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran.

We welcome some recent positive developments, including the release of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. We call for the immediate release of prisoners of conscience including the seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders: Afif Naeimi, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mahvash Sabet, Saeid Rezaie, and Vahid Tizfahm.

Australia calls on Iran to respect the rights to freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and freedom of association.

Australia also regularly raises human rights concerns directly with the Government of Iran.

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