UN General Assembly calls on Iran to eliminate religions


New York, December 17, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – The United Nations (UN) General Assembly has called on the Iranian government to end its discrimination against minorities in Iran, including the Baha’i community, the largest Iranian non-Muslim religious minority. The vote confirms a Third Committee resolution adopted in November.

The resolution, approved by the 76th session of the General Assembly and presented by Canada and 47 co-sponsors from all regions, was adopted with 78 votes in favor, 31 against and 69 abstentions.

“The international community has once again used its highest authority to call on the Islamic Republic to uphold its human rights commitments and respect the rights of the Baha’is,” said Bani Dugal, senior representative of Baha’i ‘i International. Community at the United Nations. “We are grateful for this continued support and hope that the Iranian government will heed this appeal. “

Resolutions on the human rights situation in Iran have been tabled and approved since the early 1980s, making it one of the UN’s most enduring and troubling human rights concerns. the man. Bahá’ís face harassment and intimidation, arbitrary detention in violation of due process, incitement to hatred in the media and in the pulpit, denial of business licenses and livelihoods, denial of access to higher education and confiscation of property.

One of the latest incidents, in the village of Kata, saw thirteen irrigated farmlands belonging to Baha’is put up for public auction without their permission. The auction took place during a severe water shortage in Iran, which may have been used as a pretext by authorities who have tried for years to expropriate property belonging to the Bahá’ís.

Numerous other cases of persecution of the Bahá’ís in Iran – a constant since the Islamic Revolution of 1979 – have also been reported in recent months. The lands belonging to the Baha’is of Semnan, Roshankouh and Ivel were confiscated; hate propaganda articles have increased; new evidence has emerged of the religious prejudices behind Iran’s policy of banning Bahá’ís from higher education; and official documents have been revealed which detail measures ordered by the security services to suppress the Baha’i community.

The new laws of the Iranian Penal Code, Articles 499 bis and 500 bis, which further criminalize the religious practice of the Baha’is, and which also affect Sufis, atheists and all communities who have beliefs not recognized by the Iranian constitution were also addressed by the motion. Article 500 bis, in particular, allows judges to impose sentences of up to five years in prison on any Baha’i for sharing his beliefs with others.

“The Bahá’ís do not proselytize, but the freedom to share one’s beliefs with others is an inalienable right under the principles of freedom of religion and belief and an inseparable part of Bahá’í life,” said Mrs Dugal said. “Iran must act in accordance with this latest United Nations resolution by respecting the rights of the Bahá’ís, including their right to follow their faith and to share it with others.”


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