On hearing this news, the Foreign Secretary said:
“I was appalled to hear of the 20 year prison sentence handed out to the seven spiritual leaders of the Baha’i faith in Iran. This is a shocking example of the Iranian state’s continued discrimination against the Baha’is. It is completely unacceptable.
The Iranian judiciary has repeatedly failed to allay international and domestic concerns that these seven men and women are guilty of anything other than practising their faith. It is clear that from arrest to sentencing, the Iranian authorities did not follow even their own due process, let alone the international standards to which Iran is committed. The accused were denied proper access to lawyers, and there is evidence that the trial was neither fair nor transparent.
I call on the Iranian authorities urgently to consider any appeal against this decision, and to cease the harassment of the Baha’i community. I further call on the Iranian Government to ensure that the rights of all individuals are fully protected, without discrimination, and that it fulfils its obligations to its own citizens as set out in the Iranian constitution.”