Persecution is wrong wherever it occurs

Published on Mon 26 September 2022 4:15pm

Persecution is persecution wherever it occurs, and what’s happening to citizens in Iran is wrong; it’s unconscionable. It’s not in keeping with the fundamental values or human rights of the Iranian people.

Mr Wilson (4:15pm) – Australia has a growing community of people from Iran and people with Iranian heritage, which includes people of the Baha’i faith. The 2016 census recorded approximately 60,000 Australians who were born in Iran, and that had increased 70 per cent from 2011. My own extended family encompasses Iranian heritage, and that’s something we cherish. There has been an active Baha’i community group in East Fremantle for years, and I’m grateful for the way they’ve engaged with me on a range of humanitarian and human rights issues.

Sadly, persecution of the Baha’i minority in Iran has intensified in recent months, according to Amnesty International. The death of Mahsa Amini, who was assaulted and detained by police for infringing the hijab-wearing rules, is absolutely abhorrent. It has rightly horrified people in Iran and around the world. There can be no excuse under any religion or any system of government for that kind of senseless, ugly and violent conduct towards anyone. The courage being shown by citizens protesting in Iran, especially women, is incredible.

It will never be my approach to draw attention to human rights issues in other countries as though Australia doesn’t also have these issues. The rate of incarceration of First Nations peoples in Australia is not acceptable nor are deaths in custody. Persecution is persecution wherever it occurs, and what’s happening to citizens in Iran is wrong; it’s unconscionable. It’s not in keeping with the fundamental values or human rights of the Iranian people.

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