Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/72/322 para 117
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur urges the authorities to recognize that freedom of religion or belief
entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, and that measures restricting eligibility for
civil, political, social or economic privileges, or imposing special restrictions on the practice of
other faiths, violate the prohibition of discrimination based on religion or belief and the
guarantee of equal protection under article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights.

Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
The Iranian legal framework does not protect adequately the right to freedom of religion or
belief, including the right to have or to adopt a religion of his choice.
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran names the Twelver Ja’fari School of Shia Islam
as the state religion and stipulates that “other Islamic schools are to be accorded full respect, and
their followers are free to act in accordance with their own jurisprudence in performing their
religious rites” (Article 12).2 Article 13 of the Constitution provides that the Zoroastrian, Jewish,
and Christian Iranians “are the only recognized religious minorities” under Iranian law. 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 manifest and practice their religion or belief.
Religious minorities recognized by Articles 12 and 13 of the Constitution, have few places of
worship compared to their numbers. Sunnis are not allowed to build new mosques in major
cities, including Tehran. In addition, a number of Sunni religious seminaries have been destroyed
by the government3 and authorities have reportedly been closing Sunni mosques or preventing

1

CCPR.26.1.S.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.26.1.P.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.26.1.O.1 ; CCPR.27.1.O.1;CCPR.27.1.O.2;CCPR.27.2.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.3
2
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
3
Joint submission to the Human Rights Committee from All Human Rights for All in Iran, Association for Human Rights in
Kurdistan – Geneva, Association for the Human Rights of the Azerbaijani People in Iran, Iran Human Rights Documentation
Center, OutRight International, Siamak Pourzand Foundation, Small Media, Impact Iran, 2020,
<https://tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CCPR/Shared%20Documents/IRN/INT_CCPR_NGO_IRN_42317_E.pdf>

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