Religious minorities in Iran are victims of persecution and face discrimination

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Screen shot 2010-11-07 at 1.16.50 PM(FIDH – 21 Oct 2010) Damning report on an ignored issue: Discrimination against ethnics and religious minorities in Iran.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) make public today a report on discrimination against ethnic communities and religious minorities in Iran. The report, entitled “The Hidden Face of Iran”, highlights an unknown aspect of Iran: the severe discrimination faced by ethnic communities and religious minorities in every domain/area.

“Iran is a real mosaic: the country has many minorities – Azeris, Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis, among others constitute the population of entire provinces of the country, although there are no official statistics on the composition of the population; such a subject is taboo for the authorities,”said Karim Lahidji, vice-President of FIDH and President of LDDHI. “Religious minorities also face discrimination in addition to being victims of persecution such as through arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, destruction of cemeteries and holy places,” he added. These persecutions not only target the Baha’is, a religious minority not recognised by the Iranian Constitution, but also target Christians, Sunni Muslims and Sufis and others.

It is through repression and terror that the Iranian regime responds to peaceful calls to put an end to attacks on minority rights: it reacts with violence, arbitrary arrests, torture, unfair trials and even executions.

FIDH and LDDHI present in their report concrete recommendations to the attention of the Iranian authorities that include a major reform of the Constitution and Iranian legislation both of which are deeply discriminatory. They also recommend the adoption of concrete measures particularly in the areas of education, employment, access to public services and housing, in order to put an end to the persisting discrimination against ethnic communities and religious minorities. In addition, the Iranian authorities should fully implement the recommendations that have been addressed under the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations and by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

While the UN General Assembly, which should adopt a resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, is currently at session in New York, FIDH and LDDHI call upon the international community to ensure that the issue of ethnic communities and religious minorities in Iran is an integral part of this resolution. Furthermore, our organisations reiterate their call that this resolution include – at last – a monitoring mechanism on the situation of human rights in Iran.



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