CNN World, Global Public Square section -- Why the Baha'is Matter

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May 30, 2013 | By Katrina Lantos Swett

Editor"s note: Katrina Lantos Swett is the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The views expressed reflect those of USCIRF and not CNN.

With Iran"s presidential election  looming next month, ongoing uncertainty about the status of its nuclear program, and questions about the degree of its involvement in Syria"s civil war, it"s easy to forget the domestic repression some groups face under its theocratic regime. But as Baha"i communities across the globe mark a disturbing anniversary in Iran, the birthplace of their faith, they are determined that the rest of the world should also know about the hardship and discrimination they are faced with every single day.

Throughout the month, Baha"is have engaged in a global campaign titled simply "Five Years Too Many,” on behalf of the so-called Baha"is - the Baha"i leaders imprisoned in Iran for the past five years on account of their faith. I was honored to have the opportunity to address gathered supporters earlier this month when the campaign came to Washington, D.C.

To read the entire op-ed please visit CNN World, Global Public Square section.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner please contact USCRIFat (202) 523-3258 or media@uscirf.gov

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