Iranian media outlets have recently made allegations that Shirin Ebadi’s daughter, a former law student, was converted to the Baha’i Faith by McGill law professor and human rights lawyer Payam Akhavan, a move made undoubtedly to discredit Ebadi amongst the Iranian people. Other such claims made against Akhavan and the McGill Association for Baha’i Studies have claimed that Akhavan is an American spy, that McGill is a prominent centre of Baha’ism in North America, and that the McGill ABS is the hub of this activity. All these allegations have been false, and are part of a larger campaign to slander and misrepresent Baha’is, and all those associated with them. Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 for significant efforts in furthering the cause of democracy and the rights of women and minorities in Iran, has been receiving an unprecedented number of death threats in relation to her defending the seven Baha’i leaders arrested last May. On January 1, demonstrators in support of the current Iranian regime attacked Ebadi’s home and office.
Editor’s Note: Payam Akhavan is Associate Professor for the Faculty of Law at McGill University. He teaches and researches in the areas of public international law, international criminal law and transitional justice, with a particular interest in human rights and multiculturalism, war crimes prosecutions, UN reform and the prevention of genocide. Full biography at http://people.mcgill.ca/payam.akhavan/
[Extract from Baha’is Are Still Suffering by Nadim Roberts at
http://media.www.mcgilltribune.com/news/2009/01/20/Opinion/Vox-Populi.Bahais.Are.Still.Suffering.In.Iran-3589290.shtml. Nadim Roberts is a U3 political science student and vice-president external of the McGill Association for Baha’i Studies]