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December 22, 2011

UN Approves Iran Human Rights Resolution

UN building

Washington, DC – The United Nations General Assembly this week approved a nonbinding resolution condemning human rights violations in Iran by 89-30, the largest margin to date on an Iran human rights measure.

This step taken by the international community is the 9th annual resolution passed by the UN condemning the systematic violation of fundamental human rights in Iran. The U.S. State Department said that while Iran continues its denial of UN-documented human rights violations, this vote demonstrates the growing international consensus against the increasing human rights violations in Iran.

The resolution, sponsored by Canada, “expresses deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran,” citing individual cases of torture, inhumane punishment and degrading treatment as examples of an ongoing trend of human rights violations in Iran. It specifically notes “flogging and amputations” and condemns the “dramatic increase” and executions, especially against minors. It also highlights the inequality and violence imposed on women, the systematic discrimination against religious and ethnic minorities, and the targeting of human rights defenders.

These human rights violations have been well documented by the United Nations and international bodies, including the Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran Dr. Ahmed Shaheed. The Rapporteur was reestablished after an eight year hiatus by the Human Rights Council in March of 2011 with broad international support and the endorsement of Iranian human rights advocates and organizations including the National Iranian American Council.

Dr. Shaheed presented his interim report on Iran to the United Nations General Assembly last October, providing details on the persecution of political activists, journalists, lawyers, artists, and students. His final report will be presented to the UN Human Rights Council next spring. Shaheed has not been allowed to enter Iran to compile his report, and human rights organizations have called on Iran to grant unfettered access to Shaheed.

The United Nation’s has stated that, despite Iran’s public invitation towards international bodies, the government ”has not fulfilled any requests from those special mechanisms to visit the country in six years and has left unanswered the vast majority of the numerous and repeated communications from those special mechanisms.”




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