Editor’s Note: On 19 February 2009, Wiesenthal Center published the following Press Release. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, and the Council of Europe.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mark Weitzman, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Task Force Against Hate, today condemned the ongoing persecution of seven Baha’i leaders in Iran. Weitzman said, “Iran’s accusation that these seven leaders were spies for Israel is patently absurd and as delusional as the mentality that allows a state to embrace Holocaust denial as a matter of policy. It reflects a willingness to ignore reality in favor of a show trial that resembles the trials of Stalinist Russia. And, by not allowing the victims access to lawyers Iran has demonstrated once again that the most basic concepts of human rights are irrelevant to its leadership. As long as Iran flouts these most basic legal and human rights, as long as it denies its own citizens or foreign countries the right to exist in peace, its participation in the community of nations must be seriously questioned.”