Minister Baird Statement on Bahá’í Educators in Iran

(No. 310 - October 19, 2011 - 8:05 p.m. ET) Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement on the situation in Iran:

“Canada remains deeply concerned by the ongoing persecution of religious minorities in Iran, including members of the Bahá’í and Christian communities.

“Iranian authorities recently sentenced seven educators of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education to four- to five-year jail sentences. These seven people have been detained since May. The basis of the charges against them is unclear. Canada calls for their immediate release.

“Iranian authorities refuse to recognize the fundamental right of Bahá’ís to practise their faith. Dozens are currently imprisoned for their beliefs. This is unacceptable.

“Freedom of religion is a universal human right that Canada continues to champion, as it did at the United Nations General Assembly.

“We call on Iran to uphold the freedom of all people to practise their faith, whatever it is, without fear of persecution.”

For the full text of Minister Baird’s address to the UN General Assembly, please visit Address by the Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the United Nations General Assembly.

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