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 Full text 
Thursday, 14 June 2012 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Situation of ethnic minorities in Iran (debate)

  Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris (PPE). (IT) Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s judicial system has sentenced 600 Iranian citizens to a total of 300 years of deprivation of their social rights. Representatives of minority religions in Iran have received sentences that amount to a total of 4 000 months in prison. In Iran those who seek to obtain data on minorities face many obstacles because this Islamic Republic does not allow activists and human rights defenders to collect information on violations of basic rights and also forbids the free flow of information.

However, even taking account of these difficulties and obstacles it is possible to see some trends. In particular, the regime can be seen to be intensifying its pressure on religious minorities, particularly – and I want to stress particularly – on Christians – I do not know why we are afraid to say it or write it in our resolutions – and more generally on all forms of religion that depart from Shia Islam. Those who belong to religious minorities are seen as second-class citizens and sometimes considered outside the law.

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