Freedom of religion or belief
Source: Amnesty International
The Iranian authorities discriminated against non-Shi’a minorities, including other Muslim communities, dissident Shi’a clerics, members of Sufi religious orders and the Ahl-e Haq faith, and certain other religious minorities and philosophical associations, including Christian converts. Persecution of Baha’is intensified; Baha’is were publicly demonized by officials and state-controlled media.
Dissident Muslim cleric Sayed Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi continued to serve an 11-year sentence handed down in 2007. The authorities summoned 10 of his followers for questioning in April, May and December, though none was known to have been charged.
In August, the authorities arrested at least 19 Sunni Muslims in Khuzestan province and 13 in West Azerbaijan, apparently on account of their beliefs. Eight others were arrested in Kordestan in October. It is not known whether any were charged or faced further questioning.
Pastor Yousef Naderkhani, arrested in 2009, was sentenced to death after a court convicted him of apostasy in 2010. The Supreme Court upheld the sentence but his conviction was overturned when the case was referred for guidance to the Supreme Leader. He was released in September, having served a three-year prison term for evangelizing Muslims.
At least 177 Baha’is – who were denied the right to practise their faith – were detained for their beliefs. Seven community leaders arrested in 2009 continued to serve 20-year sentences imposed for “espionage for Israel” and “insulting religious sanctities”.