Spindelegger: “Rights of Iran’s Bahá’i community should be protected”
Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger expresses concern about repression of the Bahá’i in Iran
Vienna, 1 June 2011 – According to the latest reports from Iran, houses were searched last week and people connected to an educational institute established by and for members of Iran’s Bahá’i community were arrested. Followers of the Bahá’i religion are prevented from attending ordinary Iranian universities because of their faith. The latest searches and arrests thus constitute a further attempt to limit the Bahá’i community’s access to education.
“The reports of increasing repression of the Bahá’i community by the Iranian government are alarming. The right to education is a basic human right to which everyone is entitled, regardless of their religious affiliation. Limiting access to education for the young Bahá’i is not acceptable,” said Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger. “I appeal to the Iranian government to stop its discrimination against this religious minority and to fully respect their rights.”
Foreign Minister Spindelegger had addressed the critical human rights situation, in particular for religious minorities, at a meeting with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi that took place in Geneva in February 2011. In recent months the situation of the Bahá’i has clearly deteriorated. “Persecuting people for their religion is a clear violation of human rights. Iran must comply with its obligation, including those at the international level,” concluded Spindelegger.
The Bahá’i religion is an independent monotheistic religion that has followers throughout the world. In Austria, it is a recognised religious community.
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