Iran’s mistreatment of religious minorities, including the imprisonment of 37 converts to Christianity, is highlighted in the Iran chapter of Human Rights Watch’s latest annual World Report.
“As of September 30, Iran has sentenced 37 Christians who converted from Muslim backgrounds to imprisonment for ‘missionary work’,” notes the report, citing Article18 as the source of the information.
HRW also highlights the sentencing of at least 208 Dervishes; the detention of at least 79 Baha’is, and the refusal to allow them to register at public universities “because of their faith”; the discrimination faced by Sunnis; the cultural and political restrictions placed on Azeris, Kurds, Arabs and Baluchis; and the case of Yazd city councillor Sepanta Niknam, a Zoroastrian, who was suspended from his work because of his religion.
The report also notes the reaction of Iran’s security forces to the numerous nationwide protests in 2018: “arbitrary mass arrests and serious due process violations”.
“Authorities have also tightened their grip on peaceful activism, detaining lawyers and human rights defenders who face charges that could lead to long jail terms,” says HRW.
HRW’s report also highlights: