13 Ean 2011, 17.07

The Oireachtas sub-Committee on Human Rights has today condemned the persecution of members of the Bahá’í community by Iranian Authorities.

Following a meeting with the Chairman and Secretary of the Irish Assembly of Bahá’í the Committee supported the call made on 7 December 2010 by the Bahá’í International Community on Ayatollah Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary, to release from prison seven former Bahá'í community leaders.

These leaders, against whom no credible or serious case has been presented other than that they are guilty of being members and leaders of their faith, are currently serving 10 year sentences.
 
The Committee is concerned for the well being of the seven former leaders of the Bahá'í community in Iran: Fariba Kamalabadi, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naimi, Saeid Rezaie, Mahvash Sabet, Behrouz Tavakkoli and Vahid Tizfahm who since 2008 have been held in Gohardasht prison, near Karaj, a facility notorious for its appalling conditions.

Their cases also call into question the Iranian regime’s respect for the human rights and religious freedom of all its citizens.   Iran’s reputation in Ireland has been badly damaged by credible and compelling reports regarding the human rights situation in that country, in particular evidence that the human rights situation, including the persecution of the Bahá’í community and human rights defenders generally, has deteriorated significantly since the Presidential election in 2009.
ENDS

Daniel English
Oireachtas Communications Office
01 618 4484
087 6949926
Member of the sub-Committee
Frank Fahey TD (FF)
Michael D. Higgins TD (Lab)
M.J. Nolan TD (FF)
Alan Shatter TD (FG)
Senator Ivor Callely (FF) (Chair)
Senator Mark Daly (FF)
Senator David Norris (Ind)