U.S. Religious Freedom Report lists Iran as “countries of particular concern”

A church in IranThe U.S. Department of State annual report on religious freedom punblished Monday listed Iran under mullahs rule as one of the “countries of particular concern” in which severe restrictions on people who have beliefs “that did not conform to the state-approved religion”.

The report which deals with the events in 2013 said the Iranian regime “continued convictions and executions of dissidents, political reformists, and peaceful protesters on the charge of moharebeh and anti-Islamic propaganda.”

“The government executed at least 27 individuals on charges of moharebeh, according to credible NGO reports. Authorities at Zaehedan Prison in Sistan-Baluchistan executed a group of inmates on October 26, eight of whom were charged with moharebeh, according to human rights groups.

“Also on October 26, officials executed Kurdish political prisoners Habibollah Golparipour and Reza Esmaili at Uremia Prison and Salmas Prison, respectively, on charges that included moharebeh, according to human rights groups.”

The report highlighted the case of pastor Saeed Abedini. who was detained in September 2012, and was sentenced in January to eight years in prison “on charges related to his religious beliefs.”

“Officials at Evin Prison reportedly subjected Abedini to physical and psychological abuse during his detention, and repeatedly denied him medical treatment and consular access.”

“On November 3, authorities transferred Abedini to Rajai Shahr Prison, a facility reputed to be overcrowded and with insufficient medical care, placing him in a ward known to house violent offenders. Abedini reportedly remained in Rajai Shahr Prison at year’s end.”

The report also said “the government frequently prevented Bahais from leaving the country, harassed and persecuted them, and generally disregarded their property rights.
The 2013 report condemned the repression of Sunnis as well as Sufi communities in Iran.

The report slammed the government’s inaction regarding the persecutions stating that “the government failed to take sufficient action with regard to continued discrimination, restrictions, and occasional attacks against religious minorities. Authorities also consistently failed to investigate crimes committed against members of minority religious groups and against their property, including religious sites and graveyards. “

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