Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief A/HRC/10/8/Add.1 para 98
Full recommendation
The Special Rapporteur urged the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take all
necessary measures to guarantee that the rights and freedoms of Mr. Mahmoud Mohammad
Matin-Azad, Mr. Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat and Mr. Ramtin Soodmand are respected. She also
requested that the Government ensures the compatibility of any new legislation adopted by the
Iranian Parliament with international human rights law.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators 1
Individuals mentioned in the recommendation are Christians who converted from Islam to
Christianity and were then arrested by security forces in 2008 and spent long periods in prison.
Mahmoud Matin-Azad and Arash Ahmad-Ali-Basirat were acquitted in court after spending five
months in detention and were released from prison.2 In 2008, the two were detained by security
forces in Shiraz and charged with "propaganda against the regime", "insulting Ayatollah
Khomeini", "disturbing public opinion" and "apostasy".
In the same year, 2008, Ramtin Soodmand was also arrested by security forces in Mashhad and
was accused of propagating the religion of Christianity, he was released on bail after 2 months in
prison.3 He is the son of pastor Hussein Soodmand, who was executed in Mashhad more than 30
years ago on charges of apostasy.4 No information has been released on further proceedings of
Ramtin Soodmand's case in court after his release on bail.
All mentioned individuals were arrested for converting their religion, and their peaceful activities
triggered their arrests and charges of "propaganda against the regime" and "disturbing public
opinion."
Abovementioned cases are examples of the right to freedom of religion and belief, which Iranian
law does not protect. The Islamic Republic of Iran has not taken all necessary measures to
guarantee that the rights and freedoms of these individuals are respected.

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.27.1.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
Radio Farda: https://www.radiofarda.com/a/f5_two_Iranian_acquited/466883.html
3Radio Farda: https://www.radiofarda.com/a/f6_Iran_Soodmand_Releasing/470368.html and
https://www.radiofarda.com/a/f6_Iran_Christan_Soodmand/465661.html
4 https://www.iranrights.org/fa/memorial/story/41705/hossein-sudmand

1

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