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Iran Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Iran Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Persian Translation

Learn more about Fariba Kamalabadi, a Religious Prisoner of Conscience in Iran.

Learn more about Youcef Nadarkhani, a Religious Prisoner of Conscience in Iran.

Learn more about Mahvash Sabet, a Religious Prisoner of Conscience in Iran.

Learn more about Maryam Naghash Zargaran, a Religious Prisoner of Conscience in Iran.

Key Findings

During the past year, the government of Iran engaged in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused. Severe violations targeting religious minorities—especially Baha’is, Christian converts, and Sunni Muslims—continued unabated. Sufi Muslims and dissenting Shi’a Muslims also faced harassment, arrests, and imprisonment. Since President Hassan Rouhani was elected in 2013, the number of individuals from religious minority communities who are in prison because of their beliefs has increased, despite the government releasing some religious prisoners of conscience during the reporting period. While Iran’s clerical establishment continued to express anti-Semitic sentiments, the level of anti-Semitic rhetoric from government officials has diminished during President Rouhani’s tenure. Since 1999, the State Department has designated Iran as a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), most recently in October 2016. USCIRF again recommends in 2017 that Iran be designated a CPC.

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