Press release

Foreign Office urges Iran to free Baha’i leaders

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Alistair Burt meets interfaith supporters of Baha’i religious minority and calls on Iran to release Baha’i leaders.

Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Alistair Burt, today received an open letter on behalf of the Foreign Secretary from a delegation of interfaith leaders from the UK. The letter calls for the release of seven Baha’i leaders currently in prison in Iran. Followers of the Baha’i faith have long been persecuted in Iran.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Burt said:

I am happy to accept this open letter calling for the release of seven Baha’i leaders currently in prison in Iran. It is a fine example of interfaith co-operation from across the many faith groups in the UK. The letter coincides with the fifth anniversary of the incarceration of the seven Baha’i leaders on baseless charges. The continued persecution of the Baha’i is but one example of the intolerance that many religious minorities face in Iran. I urge Iran to release the seven Baha’i leaders and to take immediate steps to stop the systematic persecution of the Baha’i community. Iran should stop the repression of any group on the grounds of their religion or belief, should respect the human rights of all its citizens, and engage seriously with the international community on improving its human rights record.

Front row: Ms Fidelma Meehan, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK, Acharya Modgala Duguid, Amida London Buddhist Centre; His Grace Bishop Angaelos, The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre; Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt; Naomi Long MP; M
Front row: Ms Fidelma Meehan, National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the UK, Acharya Modgala Duguid, Amida London Buddhist Centre; His Grace Bishop Angaelos, The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre; Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt; Naomi Long MP; Mr Swaminathan Vaidyanathan, Acting Secretary-General, Hindu Forum of Britain; Lord Avebury, Chair, All Party Parliamentary Friends of the Bahá’ís Group. Second row: Mr Vivian Wineman, President, Board of Deputies of British Jews; Dr Don Horrocks, Head of Public Affairs, Evangelical Alliance; Dr Charles Reed, Foreign Policy Advisor, The Church of England; Lord Singh of Wimbledon CBE, Network of Sikh Organisations; Imam Mufti Dr Abduljalil Sajid, Chairman Muslim Council for Religious and Racial Harmony UK.

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