The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement marking the anniversary of the arrest and detention last year of six Bahá’í leaders in Iran, who, with another arrested two months earlier, remain in custody:
“On May 14, 2008, Iranian authorities arrested six leaders of the country’s Bahá’í community. They had already detained another leader in March. The seven Bahá’ís, Behrouz Tavakkoli, Saeid Rezaie, Fariba Kamalabadi, Vahid Tizfahm, Jamaloddin Khanjani, Afif Naemi, and Mahvash Sabet, have been in prison since their arrests, and there is no sign of an end to their unjustified detention.
“Canada is deeply troubled by the continued imprisonment of these Bahá’í leaders, without charge or legal representation. We believe they are being detained solely because of their faith.
“The Government of Canada calls upon the Iranian authorities to immediately release the seven Bahá’í leaders and to cease the harassment of members of the Bahá’í faith.
“Canada continues to urge Iran to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice. We remain committed to supporting freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iran.”