Canadian Parliamentarians Address Open Letter Calling for Iran to Halt Persecution of Baha’is



20 Canadian Parliamentarians from all five political parties and both the House of Commons and the Senate, have signed an open letter calling for Iran to halt its persecution of Baha’is.

The letter was published in The Hill Times, a newspaper that reaches political leaders, public servants, and others working on public policy in the national capital.

It states, “Under the cover of the coronavirus pandemic, Iranian authorities have targeted dozens of Bahá’ís for persecution, threatened to “uproot” the community, initiated new prison sentences, and extended a media campaign of hatred. This targeted persecution must stop.”

The Baha’i International Community’s United Nations office reported that at least 71 Baha’is have been targeted in recent weeks – part of a new wave of religious persecution of Baha’is. In Shiraz, 40 Baha’is were summoned to court, and one was sentenced to 13 years in prison. The motivation for these actions were revealed in a threat made by a court official to “uproot” the Baha’is in that city.

In the Parliamentarians’ open letter, they also draw attention to “growing anti-Baha’i propaganda spread in the news,” and risks to the safety of Baha’i prisoners of conscience held in unsanitary conditions amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

“As Canadians and members of a global community, it pains us to see our brothers and sisters languishing in prisons, facing falsified charges, with no legal recourse,” they write.

The letter closes by calling on Iranian authorities “to order the release of all prisoners of conscience, as well as the end of the ongoing maneuvers of intimidation and repression levelled against the Baha’i community.”

A full list of signatories is provided below. It includes Parliamentarians who serve as Chair of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development, Chair of Standing Committee on International Trade, and Chair of Standing Committee on Health.

Signatories to the open letter:

Ziad Aboultaif

Member of Parliament for Edmonton Manning, Alberta

Shadow Minister for Digital Government

James Bezan

Member of Parliament for Selkirk – Interlake –Eastman, Manitoba

Shadow Minister for National Defence

Vice-Chair, Standing Committee on National Defence (NDDN)

Kelly Block

Member of Parliament for Carlton Trail – Eagle Creek, Saskatchewan

Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement

Co-Chair, Canadian Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (CANFoRB)

Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe

Member of Parliament for Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec

Critic for International Cooperation, International Francophonie and National Defence

Vice-Chair, Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR)

Kerry Diotte

Member of Parliament for Edmonton Griesbach, Alberta

Member, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE)

The Honourable Dr. Hedy Fry, P.C.

Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre, British Columbia

Member, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE)

Garnett Genuis

Member of Parliament for Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

Shadow Minister for Multiculturalism and Canada-China Relations

Member, Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR)

Matthew Green

Member of Parliament for Hamilton Centre, Ontario

Anthony Housefather

Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, Quebec

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour

The Honourable Mobina S.B. Jaffer, Q.C.

Senator for British Columbia

Michael Levitt

Member of Parliament for York Centre, Ontario

Chair, Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (FAAE)

Elizabeth May

Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, British Columbia

Parliamentary Leader, Green Party

Ron McKinnon

Member of Parliament for Coquitlam – Port Coquitlam, British Columbia

Chair, Standing Committee on Health (HESA)

The Honourable Marilou McPhedran, C.M.

Senator for Manitoba

The Honourable Kim Pate, C.M.

Senator for Ontario

Scott Reid

Member of Parliament for Lanark – Frontenac – Kingston, Ontario

The Honourable Judy A. Sgro, P.C.

Member of Parliament for Humber River – Black Creek, Ontario

Chair, Standing Committee on International Trade (CIIT)

Francesco Sorbara

Member of Parliament for Vaughan – Woodbridge, Ontario

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue

David Sweet

Member of Parliament for Flamborough – Glanbrook, Ontario

Shadow Minister for International Human Rights and Religious Freedom

Vice-Chair, Subcommittee on International Human Rights (SDIR)

Cathay Wagantall

Member of Parliament for Yorkton – Melville, Saskatchewan

Deputy Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs


5 Responses

  1. parwin

    June 27, 2020 1:46 pm

    thank you for standing for justice.He who puts his trust in God God will suffice him,and he who fears God God will send him relief.Baha’u’llah.

  2. Shahin

    June 28, 2020 8:04 pm

    Thanks to all the senators, for the support of human rights of the Baha’is in Iran. We hope by supporting each other, one day we will be able to remove all the Prejudice and injustice in the world.

  3. Ziaollah Hashemi, MD

    June 29, 2020 5:02 pm

    I am so proud of my brothers and sisters in Canada for raising their voices for the innocent Baha’i’s in Iran! The Iranian authorities have murdered over 20,000 members of this religion since 1844! Their properties were confiscated, their marriages are not recognized, their cemeteries are vandalized, and their youth has been denied higher education!

  4. Sheila MacNaughton

    June 30, 2020 2:36 am

    Thank you for your service and your on-going battle with Iran to stop persecuting and harassing our brothers and sisters of our Baha’i faith. All peoples around this globe have the basic human right to believe in God and praise him as each person wishes to no matter what faith you are. May He bless you all in this struggle and one day the Bahai’s of Iran will be free of tyranny.

  5. Mehran Behdjat

    July 6, 2020 4:02 am

    Thank you for becoming the voice for the voiceless and the defender of the defenseless in this dark hours where these peaceful and innocent citizens of Iran are openly targeted for genocide and annihilation by a government that is supposed to protect their rights.


Leave a Reply