Iran’s beleaguered Baha’i community has again received the unqualified support of 16-term Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf, co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.
Following the arrests of more than a dozen faculty and administrators of a peaceful education program for Baha’i students shunned by Iranian universities, Rep. Wolf made these remarks on the House of Representatives floor:
Extension of Remarks
HON. FRANK R. WOLF
Thursday, May 26, 2011
A Brutal Crackdown Against Iran’s Baha’is
Mr. WOLF: Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to my colleagues’ attention some extremely disturbing news coming out of Iran. Just this past weekend, a coordinated series of raids have been carried out on the homes of several Iranian Baha’is. An estimated 14 Baha’is have been arrested thus far.
According to a representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva, “All of the targets were homes of individuals closely involved with the operations of the Baha’i Institute for Higher Education.” This institution was created to provide young Baha’is an opportunity to pursue higher education after being systematically denied access to higher learning institutions by the Iranian government.
These attacks – and Iran’s general policy of suppressing religious freedom – are unacceptable and must stop. The U.S. and the international community must vigorously speak out against these acts of injustice facing the nearly 300,000 Baha’is living in Iran today—a community which, according to the recently published report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, “has long been subject to particularly severe religious violations in Iran.”
We must not allow such atrocities to continue unnoticed.