A new report from Dr. Ahmed Shaheed, UN’s Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran revealed troubling information regarding the condition of women, religious and ethnic minorities and LGBT groups in Iran. Despite existing laws and statements from some leaders to extend certain freedoms, the repressive treatment these groups continues.
On the status of women, not only previous concerns have not been eliminated, but new legislation and regulatory restrictions are infringing women’s abilities to enjoy their internationally recognized rights.. Cases of gender segregation in the workplace, restriction of women’s rights to own and run businesses are highlighted.
The report also illuminates that despite provisions, certain religious minorities are derived from the right to practice their religion freely; religious converts, house church leaders and prime targets. Christians and Sunni community members have experienced resistance in building places of worship. Sunni community members have expressed that they have not obtained permission to build a mosque since 1979 when the Islamic revolution took place. Furthermore, in addition to restrictions on building churches, the “government also continues to interdict Christian churches from holding Persian-language services also continue.”
Language restrictions extend to the country’s ethnic minorities who suffer from other forms of pressures. Certain Kurdish activists who promote the preservation of mother languages were arrested on obscure “national security” charges, ironically on the International Mother Language Day.
The report provides valuable recommendations that should be reviewed by all Iranians their friends and advocates for human rights. See the report here.