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Statement from a leader of the Bahai community in Canada about Arrests of leaders in Iran
By Susie Tamas

"We were so grateful to read the (Canadian Foreign)  Minister's statement which was so timely and so strong -- making it clear to Iran that it cannot violate the rights of the
Bahá'ís with impunity-- and I am sure that it will reassure the Bahá'ís of
Iran to know that countries such as Canada are speaking out on their behalf.

"Having said so - it is a bright point on a very dark horizon. The
imprisonment without cause of the entire leadership of this beleaguered
community is a cause of grave concern.

"It comes on the heels of a sharp increase in violent attacks against Bahá'ís
and their properties and several death threats ostensibly carried out by non-state actors.  Having stirred up prejudice against the Bahá'ís in a long series of articles vilifying the Bahá'í Faith and its members published in government-controlled press, government officials have been warning Bahá'ís that they won't be able to hold back the population whose sensibilities the Bahá'ís have offended."

Susie Tamas

(Received on May 17, 2008)

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