Iran’s ‘increasing restrictions’ on religious freedom a ‘serious concern’ – UN

Iran’s ‘increasing restrictions’ on religious freedom a ‘serious concern’ – UN

The UN General Assembly in New York (Photo: Patrick Gruban / Flickr / CC)

The UN’s General Assembly has passed a resolution expressing “serious concerns” about the situation of human rights in Iran, including “severe limitations” and “increasing restrictions” on religious freedom.

The resolution, passed yesterday by 79 votes to 32, with 64 abstentions, calls on Iran to “eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination on the basis of thought, conscience, religion or belief”, including denial of employment and access to education.

The Iranian government should “cease monitoring individuals on account of their religious identity”, the resolution says, “release all religious practitioners imprisoned for their membership in or activities on behalf of a recognized or unrecognized minority religious group”, and “ensure everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of their choice”, in accordance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Iran is a signatory.

It lists a number of other rights violations against both recognised and unrecognised minorities, including “harassment, intimidation, persecution, arbitrary arrests and detention, and incitement to hatred that leads to violence”.

Other rights concerns listed in the resolution include:

The resolution also calls on Iran to allow access to the country to the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman.