Baha'is and rights groups say Iranian president must address discrimination at home

19 April 2009

GENEVA, Switzerland — The Baha’i International Community joined two human rights organizations in calling on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address discrimination in his own country when he speaks this week at the conference known as Durban II.

The statement was issued as a joint news release by the Baha’i International Community, the Iranian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LDDHI), and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH).

In addition to calling on the Iranian president to address discrimination against ethnic minorities, women, and religious minorities, the three organizations also ask him to redress the problem of incitement to hatred.

“Of particular concern is the manner in which the government-controlled news media has vilified adherents of the Baha’i Faith,” the statement said, citing the hundreds of articles, radio and television programs, Internet postings, and pamphlets containing hate speech that have been disseminated in Iran in recent years.

The Durban Review Conference is being held under the auspices of the United Nations. The purpose is to evaluate progress towards the goals set by the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

(To read the news release issued by the three organizations, go here.)