A UN resolution passed yesterday, originally put forward by Canada, made specific mention of the worsening plight of Iran’s Baha’is. From the Baha’i World News Service:
UNITED NATIONS, 22 November 2006 (BWNS) — A committee of the United Nations General Assembly yesterday passed a resolution expressing “serious concern” over the human rights situation in Iran, including the escalation of violations against Iranian Baha’is.
The resolution passed the Assembly’s Third Committee by a vote of 70 to 48 on 21 November 2006. It will now go to the General Assembly plenary for vote, in December. The Third Committee considers human rights issues for the Assembly.
Put forward by Canada and co-sponsored by 43 countries, the resolution calls on Iran to “eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination based on religious, ethnic or linguistic grounds, and other human rights violations against persons belonging to minorities, including Arabs, Azeris, Baha’is, Baluchis, Kurds, Christians, Jews, Sufis, and Sunni Muslims.”
The resolution takes particular note of the worsening situation facing Iran’s 300,000-member Baha’i community, noting “reports of plans by the state to identify and monitor Baha’is,” “an increase in cases of arbitrary arrest and detention,” and “the denial of freedom of religion or of publicly carrying out communal affairs.”
The resolution also expresses concern over the “destruction of sites of religious importance” to Baha’is and “the suspension of social, educational and community-related activities and the denial of access to higher education, employment, pensions, adequate housing and other benefits” for Baha’is.