Mr. Speaker, the recent sentencing of seven members of the Baha’i leadership in Iran to a decade in prison is a looking glass into the plight of human rights in Iran in general and the targeting of Iran’s largest religious minority in particular. While the world is necessarily focused on Iran’s nuclear pursuits, the massive domestic repression in Iran should be an equally compelling concern as well as a call for action.
This persecution and the accusations against the leaders of the Bahá’i community constitute a classic case of the denial of justice in Iran.
This includes arbitrary arrests and incommunicado detention, false charges, coerced confessions, denial of the right to counsel and a show trial devoid of any due process before a politicized judiciary.
Most alarmingly, the last several years have been witness to a resurgence of more extreme forms of persecution and assaults targeting the Baha’i community and the repression has only escalated in the aftermath of the fraudulent Iranian elections of June 2009.
In sum, the sentencing of the Baha’i leadership and the attendant violations must serve as a wake-up call for the international community to sanction and hold Iran accountable for its ongoing violence and assault.