Canada Condemns Iran’s Continued Religious Freedom Violations, Including Persecution of Bahá’ís

May 14, 2013 - Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“Canada marks with regret the fifth anniversary of the illegitimate arrest and detention of seven Iranian Bahá’í national leaders by the Khamenei regime, and we renew our call for their release.

“Behrouz Tavakkoli, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naemi and Mahvash Sabet continue to serve 20-year sentences in deplorable conditions as part of the Iranian regime’s continued systematic and institutionalized persecution of the Bahá’í community. These individuals have been arrested and imprisoned for no crime but for practising their faith and leadership within their religious community.

“Canada stands by the Iranian people, who deserve the freedom to practise their faith without fear of persecution and violence. We once again call on the Iranian authorities to respect their domestic and international obligations and to uphold the human rights of Iranians, regardless of religion or belief.”

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