On 4 November 2020, Spanish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Antonio López-Istúriz White of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) posed a written parliamentary question to the Vice-President of the Commission and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell:
“There has been a noticeable escalation of the systematic, government-led persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran. With the excuse of the escalating health pandemic, Bahá’ís are being arrested all over the country, summoned to court, tried, sentenced to jail or imprisoned, all under baseless accusations. This issue is regularly raised in conversations with the Iranian authorities, but the situation is worsening.
Given the fact that the nature of the Bahá’ís’ persecution is multidimensional and they have been stripped of almost all their rights, will the European External Action Service act and specifically call upon the Iranian authorities to start showing good will by letting young Bahá’ís go to university and complete their degrees, just as their compatriots can?”
On 29 January 2021, High Representative and Vice-President Borrell responded on behalf of the European Commission stating: “The High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) and the European External Action Service (EEAS) are fully aware of the situation of the Bahá’ís in Iran.
The European Union continues to address regularly this increasingly concerning situation in bilateral contacts with the Iranian authorities, as part of the political dialogue with Iran and alongside other sensitive issues related to the human rights situation in the country.
In particular, the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, who works closely with the EEAS, has repeatedly expressed concern in his discussions with Iranian counterparts regarding the difficult situation of this vulnerable group.
As part of the bilateral engagement with Iran, the HR/VP and his Services will continue to urge the Iranian authorities to guarantee the full range of fundamental rights for their citizens irrespective of religion, belief or any other status.”
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/the-bah%C3%A1—%C3%AD-faith-642977/