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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release February 11, 2000


The President was deeply troubled to learn that death sentences have been reaffirmed for Mr. Sirus Zabihi-Moghaddam and Mr. Hedayet Kashefi-Najafabadi, both members of the Baha'i community of Iran, and that a new death sentence has been imposed on a third Baha'i, Mr. Manuchehr Khulusi.

In all three cases it is clear that the individuals were arrested, charged and sentenced to death solely because of their religious beliefs. Executing people for the practice of their religious faith is contrary to the most fundamental human rights principles.

President Clinton continues to hold the Iranian government responsible for the safety of the Baha'i community of Iran and strongly urges that these executions not be carried out.

The United States will continue to monitor closely Iranian treatment of the Baha'i community, and particularly the treatment of those who remain imprisoned or under sentence of death for their religious beliefs.

We condemn Iranian government persecution of all minority faiths.

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