RWCHR Hosts Public Discussion During 6th Annual Iran Accountability Week

This May, the RWCHR and RWCHR All-Party Parliamentary Caucus on Human Rights hosted a public panel in Canadian Parliament marking the beginning of the 6th Annual Iran Accountability Week – an initiative started by RWCHR Chair and Founder Irwin Cotler during his time as Minister of Justice. 

The event featured a panel discussion chaired by Professor Cotler, Mark Dubowitz (Executive Director, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies), Professor Payam Akhavan (Professor of Law, McGill University), Maziar Bahari (writer, filmmaker, and founder of IranWire), and Corinne Box (Director of Government Relations, Baha’i Community of Canada) with members of Parliament, Senators and the interested public in attendance. 

The discussion highlighted the Iranian regime’s systematic domestic repression, which is often targeted at Iran’s largest religious minority, the Baha’i community. Dozens of Baha’is remain incarcerated as prisoners of conscience, anti-Baha’i propaganda is disseminated by state media regularly, and all Baha’is are systematically excluded from economic life in what Corinne Box characterized as “economic apartheid”. This socio-economic repression includes denying the Baha’i access to higher education, excluding them from employment in the public sector, and restricting their participation in the private sector. The regime’s widespread assault on the Iranian civilian population, on journalists and the media, and the arbitrary arrests and detentions that have accompanied them, were also highlighted during the panel discussion and Iran Accountability Week. 

Following the panel discussion, a public press conference was held by the House of Commons Subcommittee on International Human Rights featuring remarks by Professor Cotler, Liberal MP Michael Levitt, New Democrat MP Cheryl Hardcastle and Corinne Box. 

For the public press conference: click here