Mr. Lee Clark (Brandon-Souris):
Madam Speaker, the latest reports out of Iran remind us that the systematic genocide of the Baha'i community in Iran continues. Sadly, the reports have an all too familiar ring-imprisonment, torture, beatings, and executions. One estimate puts the death toll at well over 5,000 since February of 1979. These shocking reports ought to jar us all into the realization that the Iranian Government continues to torture, with shocking regularity, innocent people who only desire their religious freedom. The Baha'is' only crime is their refusal to renounce their faith.
Women of the Baha'i faith have, as of late, faced increased danger. Because they are regarded as equals within their faith, the Iranian Government, which does not share that belief, has begun to arrest, torture and execute Baha'i women in much greater numbers than before.
Here in Canada it is perhaps difficult to imagine a land where people pay for their religious beliefs with their lives. But in Iran the persecution against the Baha'i community has neared the point of a holocaust.
1 urge Canadians, and indeed the entire international community, not to become complacent. For as long as the persecution continues, we must continue to express publicly our utter abhorrence of these horrible acts of violence.
Subtopic: HUMAN RIGHTS
Sub-subtopic: IRAN-PERSECUTION OF BAHA'I COMMUNITY