Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief A/HRC/13/40/Add.1 para 135
Full recommendation
The Special Rapporteur is grateful that the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran replied to
the joint communication of 17 October 2008. She would like to reiterate the observations and
concerns in her previous report (see A/HRC/10/8/Add.1, paras. 94 and paras. 111-112). The
Special Rapporteur again urges the Government to ensure that the Bahá’í members, who have
been detained for more than 20 months so far, receive a fair trial and in this regard she would
like to recommend the presence of independent observers during the trials. Reportedly, the trial
of Ms. Fariba Kamalabadi, Mr. Jamaloddin Khanjani, Mr. Afif Naeimi, Mr. Saeid Rezaie, Mr.
Behrouz Tavakkoli, Mr. Vahid Tizfahm and Ms. Mahvash Sabet began on 12 January 2010 in
Tehran, however, no observers were allowed inside the court at that session.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators 1
Regarding the individuals named in the recommendation, their trials were held behind closed
doors and without the presence of impartial observers.2
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran names the Twelver Ja’fari School of Shia Islam
as the state religion (Article 12). 3 Article 13 of the Constitution provides that the Zoroastrian,
Jewish, and Christian Iranians “are the only recognized religious minorities” under Iranian law.
Additionally, Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees that all people enjoy equal rights,
“whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong” and that “color, race, language, and
the like, do not bestow any privilege”. 4 However, the Constitution omits an explicit provision
recognizing religion or belief as a protected characteristic. As a consequence, because the
Baha’is are not recognized under Iranian law, they have no legal safeguards to protect the
practice of their religion. Furthermore, a bill currently under review of the Iranian Parliament as
of November 2020 would criminalize “any deviant educational or proselytizing activity that
contradicts or interferes with the sacred law of Islam” when it is, among others, part of a “sect”,
or through the use of “mind control methods and psychological indoctrination”. Such bill may
well disproportionately impact individuals belonging to unrecognized religious minorities, such
1

CCPR.18.1.S.1; CCPR.18.1.S.2; CCPR.18.1.S.3; CCPR.18.1.S.4; CCPR.18.1.S.5; CCPR.27.1.S.1; CCPR.27.2.S.1
CCPR.18.1.P.1; CCPR.18.1.P.2; CCPR.18.1.P.3; CCPR.18.1.P.4; CCPR.18.1.P.5; CCPR.18.3.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.1;
CCPR.27.2.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.2; CCPR.27.2.P.3
CCPR.18.1.O.4; CCPR.18.1.O.5; CCPR.18.1.O.10; CCPR.18.1.O.12; CCPR.18.1.O.16; CCPR.18.2.O.1; CCPR.18.3.O.2;
CCPR.27.1.O.1; CCPR.27.1.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.3
2 https://www.bic.org/fiveyears/profiles/index.html
3 The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation,
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch01.php
4 The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation,
http://www.iranchamber.com/government/laws/constitution_ch03.php

1

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