Jo Swinson MP has called on the government to press for the release of Baha’i prisoners in Iran.
Members of the Baha’i community of Bearsden are increasingly concerned for the safety of their co-religionists in Iran, the country where their faith originated. Seven Baha’i leaders currently imprisoned in Iran have just marked the first anniversary of their arrest, and are now facing new accusations which may carry the death penalty. The leaders have spent the year in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison without charges or access to their lawyer.
Jo Swinson supported a Parliamentary Motion in February calling on the government to press for the immediate release of the detainees, and has written to the Foreign Office and the Iranian Embassy urging them to make this a top priority.
Commenting, Jo Swinson said:
“Everyone should have the right to practice their religion freely, and it is clear from the lack of evidence which has been produced to support any criminal charges that the Iranian government simply considers religious freedom to be a threat to the regime. The Iranian authorities have said that they intend to “confront and destroy” the leaders of the Baha’i faith in their country, and the international community must act stop this violation of basic human rights.”
Commenting, Robert Geelan of the Bearsden Baha’i community said:
“We are extremely grateful that our MP Jo Swinson has raised the situation of the Baha’is in Iran with the Foreign Secretary and the Iranian Embassy in London,” said Robert Geelan. “Documents released by the United Nations show that the authorities in Iran want to eradicate the Baha’i community as a viable entity in Iran. We are praying that our voices, joining with those of people of goodwill from all over the world, will put an end to this persecution.”
For further information on the Baha’i community in Bearsden please contact Robert Geelan on 0141 530 7255, or [email protected]
- Early Day Motion 937, which Jo Swinson MP has signed, can be viewed here
- Bearsden Baha’i Community website