6 September 2011 A 347/11
The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement yesterday:
The High Representative wishes to express her serious concern about the recent wave of arrests of Baha’i citizens, and the shutting down of an educational centre of the Baha’i community in Iran.
The European Union recalls that freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief are fundamental rights which must be guaranteed under all circumstances according to article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Iran has signed up to and ratified.
The European Union calls on Iran to immediately release all individuals detained on religious grounds, to put an end to the ongoing persecution of the Baha’i community, including in the field of education, and to refrain from all forms of discrimination against religious minorities, so as to guarantee the full respect for freedom of religion or belief in Iran.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS: Michael Mann +32 498 999 780 – +32 2 299 97 80 – Michael.Mann@eeas.europa.eu Maja Kocijancic +32 498 984 425 – +32 2 298 65 70 – Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu COMM-SPP-HRVP-ASHTON@ec.europa.eu www.eeas.europa.eu
See PDF of the statement here: Statement by the Spokesperson of EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the persecution of the Baha’i community in Iran