Ottawa, Ontario, 31 March 2009 (CBNS) — After a 90 minute debate, Monday evening 30 March 2009, Canada’s House of Commons adopted a strongly worded motion condemning the persecution of Baha’is in Iran and calling on the Government of Iran to immediately release Baha’i leaders currently in prison in Tehran. The debate was moving in the eloquence and well informed nature of the contributions from Members of Parliament representing virtually all regions of Canada, and as one MP noted, all parties were united in their concern about the situation of the Baha’is of Iran.
The Parliamentary debate came after a unanimous vote 26 February on the motion by the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. That vote followed testimony before the Subcommittee by McGill Law Professor, Payam Akhavan, and Susanne Tamas, Director of Governmental Relations for the Baha’i Community of Canada. The Subcommittee agreed to report the motion to the Standing Committee with the recommendation that it be reported to the House of Commons and that concurrence on the motion be sought.