Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
A/70/411 para 99
Full recommendation:
Restrictions on the rights of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran remain deeply
concerning. Adherents of recognized and unrecognized religions continue to report arrests
and prosecution for worship and participation in religious community affairs, including in
private. Measures that exclude religious minorities from legal protections for civil, political,
social or economic rights, or that impose special restrictions on the practices or
manifestations of religious beliefs continue to violate the obligations of the Islamic Republic
of Iran under the Covenant and should be addressed.
Assessment using Impact Iran indicators1
A. Measures that exclude religious minorities from legal protections for civil,
political, social or economic rights continue to violate the obligations of the
Islamic Republic of Iran under the Covenant and should be addressed
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.
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”.3 Article 20 of the constitution states that “All citizens of the
country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human,
political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria”.
Additionally, 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 While the Constitution seemingly protects the rights of members of religious
minorities, it omits an explicit provision recognizing religion or belief as a protected
characteristic from discrmination.
1

CCPR.18.1.S.1; CCPR.18.2.S.1; CCPR.18.3.S.1; CCPR.26.1.S.1; CCPR.27.1.S.1; CCPR.27.2.S.1
CCPR.18.1.P.1; CCPR.18.1.P.2; CCPR.18.2.P.1; CCPR.18.3.P.1; CCPR.26.1.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.1; CCPR.27.1.P.2;
CCPR.27.2.P.1; CCPR.27.2.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.26.1.O.1;
CCPR.27.1.O.2; CCPR.27.2.O.2
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

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