Vor dem Hintergrund der Kandidatur der Islamischen Republik Iran für den Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen fasst die iranische Friedensnobelpreisträgerin Shirin Ebadi nochmals die mangelnde Bereitschaft Irans zusammen, seinen völkerrechtlichen Verpflichtungen für den Schutz der Menschenrechte nachzukommen. So schreibt sie in Bezug auf das Recht auf Religionsfreiheit in einem offenen Brief an UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon über eine mangelhafte Rechtssetzung:
There is also discrimination based on religion. According to the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the official state religion is the Shi’a branch of Islam. Other Islamic sects, as well as Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Judaism, are also officially recognized religions. But the law does not give any rights to followers of other faiths, such as the Baha’i faith, who also live in Iran, as well as individuals who do not have any particular beliefs or do not subscribe to any particular moral or divine codes. Such groups and faiths are deprived of civil, political, social and cultural rights. In fact, since the Revolution, members of the Baha’i faith have even been barred from studying at universities.
Sadly, there are also blatant differences between the treatment of Muslims and the followers of the other officially recognized religions. For instance, based on the Penal Code, the punishment for the same offence varies depending on whether the perpetrator is a Muslim or non-Muslim.
Based on the law, if an unmarried man and woman commit fornication, they receive a hundred lashes each. But if the woman is Muslim and the man non-Muslim, let’s say a Christian, the man would be sentenced to execution while the woman’s sentence remains a hundred lashes. Or if a Muslim intentionally murders a non-Muslim, let’s say a Jew, and fails to obtain a pardon from the victim’s parents, he will be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in prison. However, if a non-Muslim murders a Muslim and fails to obtain a pardon from the victim’s parents, he will be sentenced to death. And there are many other instances of discriminatory laws.