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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Persecution of Religious Minorities in Iran


Press Statement
Philip J. Crowley
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
March 12, 2010

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The United States is increasingly concerned about the Iran's ongoing persecution of Baha'is and other religious minority communities.

In recent weeks, authorities detained at least 25 Baha’is. Reports indicate there have been more than 45 new detentions of Baha'is in the last four months alone, and currently as many as 60 Baha'is are imprisoned in Iran solely on the basis of their religious beliefs. Authorities also detained more than a dozen Christians, some of whom are being held in custody without substantiated charges. Further, we remain concerned that seven Baha’i leaders on trial for espionage have been denied access to their attorneys and neither does their trial meet its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

During the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the UN Human Rights Council in February 2010, Iran pledged to abide by international law. Therefore, we are deeply disappointed that the Iranian government rejected a UPR recommendation to end discrimination against its Baha'i religious minority. We join the international community in urging Iran to uphold its obligations to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its people.

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PRN: 2010/300

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