Item 4: Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Iran
Organisation: Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)
Speaker: Claire Denman
Thank you, Madame President,
CSW welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s report.
We share his concern at recent imprisonments of members of the Arab, Kurdish and Baha’i ethnic and religious minorities for practicing their culture, language or faith. Court rulings have even deprived Bahai’ villagers of ancestral farmlands.
We are also concerned by arrests in 2020 of 115 Christians, 38 of whom were detained. Last month we learned authorities in Karaj summoned 11 families for interrogation, warning them to stop house-church activity and not to visit each other’s homes.
We concur with the call for the release of those imprisoned due to their religion or belief, culture, or use of ethnic language.
We call specifically for the unconditional release of Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and Saheb Fadaie.
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention recently found Pastor Nadarkhani’s detention to be arbitrary and in contravention of international law. We reiterate its call on Iran “to take the steps necessary to remedy the situation of Mr. Nadarkhani without delay.”
We welcome the news that Ebrahim Firouzi has been released on bail after being detained on new charges while already in internal exile, and call for these to be dropped immediately.
We urge Iran to ensure due process, judicial independence, and to cease equating peaceful adherence to minority faiths to national security threats.
We also urge Iran to ensure freedom of religion or belief for all citizens, and to end discrimination, harassment, and even persecution of religious minorities.
 Opinion adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, at its eighty-ninth session, 23-27 November 2020 Opinion No. 83/2020 concerning Youcef Nadarkhani (Iran), https://www.freedom-now.org/wp-content/uploads/AUV-WGAD-Opinion-83-2020-Youcef-Nadarkhani-Iran.pdf