UN Committee Finds Widespread Discrimination Against Baha’is in Iran
In a report issued May 21, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights found that Baha’is face “widespread and entrenched discrimination” in Iran, particularly in employment and education. The report also covered several other pressing human rights issues in Iran, including discrimination against women and ethnic minorities, as well as the lack of protection for trade unions.
“The Committee’s report highlights the extent of the persecution of Baha’is in Iran, which includes employment, education, and cultural issues,” the representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations in Geneva Diane Alai said.
In preparing the report, the UN Committee questioned Iranian officials earlier in May, examining the government’s role in the freedom of religion of its citizens. In Iran, only those minority religions recognized by the government are protected and allowed to practice their religion; Baha’is are not amongst those recognized.
“People are the holders of their freedom of religion, and that is not the public power of states,” UN Committee member Nicolaas Schrijver stated during the May session questioning Iranian officials.
In its findings, the UN Committee recommended Iran “take steps to ensure that members of the Baha’i community are protected against discrimination and exclusion in every field.”