Iran is one of 13 countries worldwide that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) this year recommended naming as a "country of particular concern" (CPCs), a designation reserved for foreign governments that have participated in or tolerated "particularly severe" violations of religious liberty. The recommendation is made to the U.S. State Department.
Open Doors USA, which monitors the persecution of Christians worldwide, reports that at least 50 Christians, most of them converts from Islam, were arrested, interrogated, tortured and some even killed in Iran in 2008.
"It is clear that the Iranian government and its president have no respect for the human rights of its citizens," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the European Centre for Law and Justice, said in a statement. "Iran continues to show a flagrant disregard for the rule of law and continues to violate the most basic human rights of its citizens. In addition to the violence and crackdown on its citizens, we're also deeply concerned by the unlawful prosecution by the Iranian government of its citizens in connection with the recent election. Iran has a very troubling record of abusing its citizens and this most recent campaign to quash political discourse is very disturbing. It's time that Iran is held accountable for its serious and repeated violations of human rights and international law."