Imprisonment of a person for eight years in Republic of Iran violating the fundamental freedom of religion

QUOTE

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

QUESTION NO: 410 (NW557E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 8-2013 OF 15 MARCH 2013

MRS C DUDLEY (ACDP) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION:

(1) Whether she has been informed that a certain person (name furnished) was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment, a sentence that violates respect for the fundamental freedom of religion;

(2) whether South Africa has international relations with Iran; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details;

(3) whether any diplomatic intervention can be made on the said person’s behalf; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;

(4) whether she intends to intervene for the sake of the said person, his family and all other Christians; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

REPLY:

(1) Yes. The Government of South Africa received information about the sentencing of the person (name furnished) through media and other open sources.

(2) Yes. South Africa and Iran maintain diplomatic relations.

(3) The person is not a national of South Africa and the Government has accordingly no jurisdiction to intervene in this case.

(4) The Government of South Africa has no jurisdiction to intervene in individual cases of persons who are not nationals of South Africa. However, it would continue to engage with the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as it does with several other countries, on the need to promote and protect human rights, including the freedom of religion.

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