Iran’s Baha’i stance deplored

The local Baha�i members are hoping to bring awareness of the imprisonment of their members, prosecuted because of their religious views.

Many Bahai�s moved out of Iran in the mid-1980s to countries like Australia.

Darlington�s Parisa Mohebi moved to Australia from Tehran and Pakistan after her parents fled Iran in 1985.

She said it was shocking that in today�s world religious prejudice could lead the Iranian authorities to lock up the seven leaders.

Iranian authorities say those imprisoned will be released as soon as they renounce their religious beliefs.

The five men and two women have been in prison since they were arrested in 2008 and subjected to trials which ordered a 20-year jail term each.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also expressed her deep concern of the Bahai�s held in Iran last year at their sixth anniversary of imprisonment.

She said at the time she regretted the ongoing human rights abuses in Iran, including the treatment of religious minorities such as the Baha�i community.

Ms Bishop said Australia expressed its concern about the use of the death penalty, ongoing intimidation and arbitrary arrest of human rights defenders, political activist, journalists and lawyers.

Last year Ms Bishop called on Iran to release the seven Baha�i leaders.

�We continue to urge Iran to respect the human rights of all detainees and to ensure all trials are conducted fairly,� she said.

Ms Mohebi said she was also pleased that the House of Representatives had passed a bipartisan motion which called for the end to persecution of Bahai�s in Iran.