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U.S. State Department calls for "fair and public hearing" for Iranian Baha'i leaders

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On January 11, 2010,  the U.S. Department of State issued a statement condemning the trial of seven Baha’i leaders in Tehran and indicating that Iran is responsible for the safety of all 48 Baha’is who are currently detained in prisons throughout Iran. Of the seven leaders, the statement asserts:

These persons are entitled to due process. The right to a fair and public hearing is embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Iran’s constitution provides the right to legal representation in criminal cases, as does the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Iran is a party. In addition, the right to freedom of belief and conscience is enshrined in both the UDHR and ICCPR.

We are deeply concerned about Iran’s ongoing persecution of Baha’is and treatment of other members of religious minorities who continue to be targeted solely on the basis of their beliefs.

We join the international community in urging the Iranian authorities to release all religious minorities who are currently in detention for peacefully exercising their human rights and fundamental freedoms.