UN Resolution Condemning Iran Human Rights Violations Moves Forward

Nov 20, 20090 comments

(20 November 2009) The Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution today strongly condemning Iran for violating the human rights of its citizens. The approval by a vote of 74 for, versus 48 against, paves the way for adoption of the resolution by the General Assembly in December. “This crucial vote means that, while engaging the Islamic Republic of Iran in discussions about its nuclear development program is important, that goal should not and has not deterred the international community from standing by the Iranian people in their struggle for human rights, and demanding that the IRI adhere to its commitments,” stated Aaron Rhodes, a spokesperson for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. “The diverse support for the Resolution shows that concern about human rights in Iran is not politically-motivated or ‘western,’ but an international concern to uphold universal human rights principles,” he added. The draft resolution cites a wide range of grave human rights abuses including torture, excessive use of capital punishment and the execution of juvenile offenders, executions by stoning, the repression of women’s rights advocates, discrimination against minorities, and denial of basic civil and political rights. The resolution calls on the IRI to “redress its inadequate record of cooperation with international human rights mechanisms,” “regrets that the Islamic Republic has not fulfilled any requests from [United Nations] special mechanisms to visit the country in 4 years and has not answered numerous communications from these special mechanisms,”  and “invites the thematic special procedures mandate holders to pay particular attention to the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran” with regard to abuses that have occurred since disputed presidential election in June 2009. On 11 November, 109 human rights groups from around the world appealed to UN members states to support the resolution, saying that it would “help show Iran a path toward respecting the human rights values and standards upon which the United Nations was founded.”