Bahai News - BWNS: Baha'is honor champion of human rights
Baha'is honor champion of human rights
Sir Sidney Chapman (right) receives the Blomfield Award
from Baha'i representative, the Hon. Barney Leith.
LONDON, 3 January 2006 (BWNS) -- A former British parliamentarian, Sidney Chapman, received the inaugural Blomfield Award for Human Rights
at a ceremony organized by the United Kingdom Baha'i community's national governing council and the Barnet Baha'i community.
The Baha'is of the United Kingdom have established the Blomfield Award -- named after Lady Blomfield, a prominent early British Baha'i -- to present
to individuals in British public life who have offered consistent and exceptional support towards the defence of Baha'is in countries where they are
persecuted for their religious faith, notably in Iran.
At the ceremony held in Barnet, North London, on 6 December 2005, Baha'i spokesman, the Hon. Barney Leith, praised the efforts of Sir Sidney to
speak out for the Baha'is in Iran.
"Sir Sidney repeatedly defended the human rights of the Baha'is by tabling Parliamentary questions and motions and speaking in debates," said Mr.
Leith, secretary for external affairs of the United Kingdom Baha'i community.
In reply, Sir Sidney spoke of his admiration for the Baha'i community. "I should like to thank the Baha'is, not only the 6,000 here in the UK, but
the five to six million Baha'is around the world, for all that you do to promote human unity," he said.
Sir Sidney Chapman (fourth from left) and Barnet Deputy
Mayor Victor Lyon and Mrs. Lyon (fifth and seventh from left) with others at the award ceremony.
Sir Sidney said that he attached great importance to the struggle for human rights and to efforts to reduce the damage to the earth's natural
Sir Sidney admired the artistic design of the award itself, which was conceived and crafted by Switzerland-based artist Myriam Bargetze. Ms.
Bargetze used a quotation from the Baha'i writings as her inspiration for the alabaster and turquoise piece: "Regard man as a mine rich in gems of
Barnet Deputy Mayor, Victor Lyon, and the Deputy Mayoress attended the ceremony, representing the borough.
A musical group, Gye Nyame, performed a Baha'i prayer set to their own choral melodies.
Sir Sidney retired from Parliament in 2005 having served the people of Barnet since 1979. Members of the Barnet Baha'i community also honoured Sir
Sidney, presenting him with a commemorative certificate to mark his retirement from public life.
Closing the ceremony Dr. Kishan Manocha, secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of the United Kingdom, said the Baha'is had
gathered to acknowledge Sir Sydney's contribution and to honor him.
"There should be no doubt that Sir Sidney's distinguished record of defending the Iranian Baha'is is of great value in the ongoing efforts to
emancipate that community," Dr. Manocha said.
©Copyright 2006, Baha'i World News Service
Return to: UGA Baha'i Association's Home Page
Baha'i News Archives' Index
This page was designed by Sohayl Moshtael suggestions, and news submissions are welcome, and
The content and opinions expressed on this Web page do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the
University of Georgia or the University System of Georgia.
Page last updated/revised 060103