Minister Baird Deplores Possible Death Sentence for Apostasy in Iran

(No. 277 – September 28, 2011 – 10:30 ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today expressed concern over reports that Iran may soon execute an Iranian Christian, Youcef Nadarkhani, for apostasy:

“Canada deeply deplores reports that an Iranian Christian pastor, Youcef Nadarkhani, could be imminently executed for refusing an order by Iran's courts to recant his faith.

“We continue to call upon Iran to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, including the right to freedom of religion or belief.

“This is a universal human right that Canada continues to champion, including most recently at the United Nations General Assembly.

“Iran consistently violates the human rights of minorities, including Christians and Bahá’í.

“Our government is committed to establishing an Office of Religious Freedom to promote and protect these rights around the world, ensuring that this type of persecution does not go unchecked.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI