[Newspaper:] The Canberra Times

[Date:] Wednesday, 1 April 1981


Persecution of Baha'is deplored by Senate


In a unanimous resolution the Australian Senate last Thursday deplored persecution of the Baha'i faith in Iran and called for urgent attention to the matter by the Human Rights Commission of the United Nation.

Following a half-hour presentation by Senator Puplick, with only one question raised and resolved during that time, the motion was supported by Senators Evans (Vic) Baume (NSW), and then unanimously approved.

Spokesmen for the Baha'i faith in Australia said that the presentation of material was essentially accurate and compassionate, describing one hundred years of oppression of Bahai's in Iran which had culminated in the past two years with unremitting government-initiated torture, pillage, murder and denial of human rights of Bahai's in that country. Religious persecution of other non-Islamic faiths was also taking place, but a special hatred existed for Bahai's, whose beliefs were outlined by Senator Puplick.

He said, "The basic principals of the Baha'i faith are that they believe in the oneness of mankind, as they describe it, the independent investigation of the truth, the common foundation of all religions, the essential harmony of science and religion, the complete equality of men and women, the elimination of prejudices of all kinds, universal compulsory education, spiritual solutions to political, economic and social problems, and in a universal peace".

He said, "It is a tenet of Baha'is faith not to involve oneself in anything that is communally divisive…on having no activity which could be described as entering into partisan consideration, whether in Iran or Australia".

Senator Puplick noted that he wished to align the Australian Senate with the stance taken by the Australian Government already, at an executive level (last year in the condemnation of persecution by Minister of Foreign Affairs), and with the Canadian House of Commons, the Council of Europe, and a number of organisations associated with United Nations.

As reported in Hansard, supported by all sides of the Senate was in the affirmative.





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