The Journal for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies

Human Rights of Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Human Rights of Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran

  • Wahabuddin Ra’ees
  • Abdol Moghset Bani Kamal

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that the elites and state officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran are engaged in gross violations of the fundamental rights of its religious and ethnic minority populations. Despite the antiimperialist appearance of the Islamic Republic and its claim of having instituted constitutional provisions to respect fundamental human rights and the rights of its minorities, gross violations of the human rights of the Lor, Kurd, Azeri, Baloch, Talishi, Arab, and Turkman ethnic minorities, as well as of the Jewish, Baha’ee, Christian, and Zoroastrian religious minorities are observed in the policies of the state and in the behavior of its ruling elites. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, as early as the 1980s, began to report sectarian undertones, religious discrimination, and violations of political rights in the Islamic Republic. The deteriorating state of human rights in the Islamic Republic eventually compelled the United Nations to appoint special rapporteurs to monitor the state of human rights violations there. The socio-political and legal structure of the Iranian state, the political and sectarian human rights ideology of the Islamic Republic and its elites, and the Shi’ite principle of ‘obligation to the state’ are factors contributing to human rights violations in the Islamic Republic. Redressing the state of human rights violations would require a more neutral, objective and universalistic approach to human rights, and an interpretation detached from Shi’ite sectarian Islam and doctrinal teachings – far-fetched objectives, indeed.

Keywords

  • The Islamic Republic of Iran
  • violation
  • human rights
  • ethnic and religious minorities
  • sectarian ideology

To cite this article: Wahabuddin Ra’ees and Abdol Moghset Bani Kamal, “Human Rights of Religious and Ethnic Minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran”, The Journal for Interdisciplinary Middle Eastern Studies, 4 (2019), pp. 9-31.

ISSN (Print): 2522-347X
ISSN (Online): 2522-6959

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