Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/37/68 para 96
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur also calls upon the Government to respect the right to freedom of
religion and belief, to address all forms of discrimination in all spheres of life, to uphold and
implement legislation that protects minority groups and individuals, and to ensure the release of
all individuals imprisoned on the basis of their religion, belief or identity.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Article 14 of the Constitution stipulates that the government and Muslims in Iran are “dutybound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic
justice and equity, and to respect their citizen rights.” 2 Additionally, Article 19 of the
Constitution protects the equal rights of “ethnic group or tribe” regardless or “color, race,
language, and the like”, but it omits an explicit provision recognizing religion or belief as a
protected characteristic against discrimination.3 Article 23 of the Constitution stipulates that “the
investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task
simply for holding a certain belief.” 4
These protections, however, only apply to those “who refrain from engaging in conspiracy or
activity against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”5
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran names the Twelver Ja’fari School of Shia Islam
as the state religion. Only Muslim minorities (including Sunnis), Zoroastrian, Jewish and
Christian Iranians are recognized under the Constitution.6 Because there are no laws
safeguarding the right of religious minorities to worship, maintain places of worship or assemble,
the structural exclusion of other religious minorities leaves them without legal protection to
1

CCPR.18.1.S.1; CCPR.18.2.S.1; CCPR.18.3.S.1; CCPR.18.4.S.1; CCPR.27.1.S.1; CCPR.27.2.S.1; ESCR.2.2.S.1
CCPR.18.1.P.1; CCPR.18.1.P.2; CCPR.18.2.P.1; CCPR.18.3.P.1; CCPR.18.4.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.2;
CCPR.27.2.P.1; CCPR.27.2.P.2; ESCR.2.2.P.2; CCPR.18.1.O.4; CCPR.18.1.O.5; CCPR.18.1.O.6; CCPR.18.2.O.1;
CCPR.18.2.O.2; CCPR.18.3.O.1; CCPR.18.4.O.1; CCPR.18.4.O.2; CCPR.27.1.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.2; ESCR.2.2.O.1
2
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
3
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
4
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
5
Article 14, The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
6
Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf

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