European Parliament: Persecution of the Baha’i minority in Iran
Sabine Verheyen and Marietje Schaake
Members of the European Parliament
in cooperation with
the European Foundation for Democracy
cordially invite you to a presentation on the
PERSECUTION OF THE BAHA'I MINORITY IN IRAN
Wednesday 4 November 2009
Room ASP 5E 3
Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, Senior Fellow, European Foundation for Democracy
Dr Nazila Ghanea, Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, Oxford University
Antoine Madelin, EU Delegate, Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme
Founded in 19th-century Iran, the Baha'i faith and its followers are engrained in Iranian history. Yet, despite its origins, its principles of loyalty to the government, removing itself from partisan politics, and renouncing violence, the Baha'i community was systematically persecuted over the last 150 years. The problem has become most acute under the theocracy of the Islamic Republic, which systematically seeks to isolate and eliminate the community. Last year, the Iranian regime arrested seven community leaders for "espionage, insulting religious sanctities and propaganda against the Islamic Republic" but no trial has taken place so far. Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi has remarked in September 2009: "They are accused of spying and undermining state security. These are already formal charges. But there is no proof. According to the laws of Iran, they are innocent."
The panel will discuss Iran's persecution of the Baha'i, its possible consequences, and what steps Europe could take to support the rights and freedoms of this minority community.
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