Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/HRC/40/67 para 70(h)
Full recommendation:
The Special Rapporteur recommends that the Government and Parliament, protect the rights of
all persons belonging to religious and ethnic minorities and address all forms of discrimination
against them, and release all those imprisoned for having exercised their right to freedom of
religion or belief.
Assessment using Impact Iran human rights indicators1
Article 14 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets out that the government and
Muslims in Iran are “duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in conformity with ethical norms and the
principles of Islamic justice and equity, and to respect their citizen rights.” Additionally,
although Article 19 of the Constitution protects the equal rights of “ethnic group or tribe”
regardless or “color, race, language, and the like” it omits an explicit provision recognizing
religion or belief as a protected characteristic against discrimination.2 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.” 3
These protections, however, only apply to those “who refrain from engaging in conspiracy or
activity against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.”4
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.5 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. Further, regulations may actively discriminate
against members belonging to unrecognized religious minorities. For instance, a new rule
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
Article 14, The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, English translation, https://irandataportal.syr.edu/wpcontent/uploads/constitution-english-1368.pdf
5
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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