An update on the UK Bahá’í News website was posted earlier this week. See link for full article.
LONDON, 14 May — Fifty leaders of faith communities in the United Kingdom have signed an open letter, addressed to the Rt Hon William Hague MP, the Foreign Secretary, calling on him to renew the UK Government’s support for the seven imprisoned leaders of the long-suffering Bahá’í community in Iran, the country’s largest religious minority. May 14th marks the day that these seven innocent Bahá’í leaders have been behind bars for five years, imprisoned solely because of their religious beliefs. The letter was received on the Foreign Secretary’s behalf, at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, by Alistair Burt MP, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa.
“I am happy to accept this open letter calling for the release of seven Bahá’í leaders currently in prison in Iran,” he said. “It is a fine example of interfaith co-operation from across the many faith groups in the UK.” Mr Burt renewed the UK government’s call for the immediate release of the seven Bahá’í leaders – and he condemned Iran’s wider human rights record. “The continued persecution of the Baha’i is but one example of the intolerance that many religious minorities face in Iran. I urge Iran to release the seven Baha’i leaders and to take immediate steps to stop the systematic persecution of the Baha’i community. Iran should stop the repression of any group on the grounds of their religion or belief, should respect the human rights of all its citizens, and engage seriously with the international community on improving its human rights record,” he said.
The faith leaders, representing the Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh communities; and including Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi, Barry Morgan, the Archbishop of Wales; and Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, said: “Iran has abandoned every legal, moral, spiritual and humanitarian standard, routinely violating the human rights of its citizens. The government’s shocking treatment of its religious minorities is of particular concern to us as people of faith.”