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Peace walk for Iranian Baha'is

Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012

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Around 200 people are expected to join a peace walk intended to draw attention to the plight of minority religions in Iran.

People from all ages and ethnicities are being encouraged to join the Baha'i Freedom Walk, which takes place this Sunday.

The 15km peaceful walk starts in Mt Eden and organisers say it is a symbolic gesture designed to highlight the troubles faced by members of the Bahai faith and other minority religions in Iran.

The Iranian government refuses to acknowledge the Baha'i faith as a religion and has deemed it a political organisation. Members of the religious minority regularly experience persecution and human rights violations.

Auckland is one of a number of centres around the country holding the solidarity walks, which are timed to coincide with United Nation's Human Rights Day on Monday.

Organiser and Baha'i member Maxine Chan says it is a way of expressing concern for the Baha'is abroad.

"Most are well respected educators and community workers who endure long, inhumane and unjust prison sentences solely because of their beliefs."

She says there are currently about 120 Iranian Bahai's imprisoned.

The Bahai Freedom Walk is on December 9 from 8.30am. It begins at Tahaki Reserve and follows a 15km route, ending in Mt Eden.

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- Auckland City Harbour News

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