U.N. slams Iran human rights violations in Canadian-led resolution

Today’s resolution on “the Situation of Human Rights in Iran” passed the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee by a vote of 83 to 31, with 68 abstaining.

This is the 10th year that Canada led this now-annual resolution, along with 42 other state co-sponsors. The resolution will proceed to the UN General Assembly Plenary for consideration, where it typically receives a similar voting result.

Here is the full text: UNGA Iran res Nov 2012; at bottom are selected quotes.

Canada’s leading position today in fighting Iranian abuses is partly due to the work in that country of Iranian-born human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam, whose compelling 2009 U.N. testimony follows below.


Situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran

The General Assembly, Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other international human rights instruments,
Recalling its previous resolutions on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the most recent of which is resolution 66/175 of 19 December 2011,  […]
Expresses deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran relating to, inter alia:
(a) Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations;
(b) The continuing alarming high frequency of the carrying-out of the death penalty in the absence of internationally recognized safeguards, including an increase in the number of public executions, notwithstanding the issuance of a
circular by the former head of the judiciary prohibiting public executions, and secret group executions, as well as reports of executions undertaken without the notification of the prisoner’s family members or legal counsel;
(c) The failure to abolish the execution of minors and persons who at the time of their offence were under the age of eighteen, in violation of the obligations of the Islamic Republic of Iran under the Convention on the Rights of the Child
and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
(d) The imposition of the death penalty for crimes that lack a precise and explicit definition, including  moharabeh (enmity against God), and/or for crimes that do not qualify as the most serious crimes, in violation of international law;
(e) The practice of suspension strangulation as a method of execution, and the fact that persons in prison continue to face sentences of execution by stoning, notwithstanding the issuance of a circular by the former head of the judiciary
prohibiting stoning;
(f) Ongoing, systematic, widespread and serious restrictions on freedom of peaceful assembly and association and freedom of opinion and expression, including through efforts to block or filter Internet content, restrict access to foreign e-mail services and a variety of websites, jam international satellite transmission into the Islamic Republic of Iran, censor or close newspapers, magazines and other publications, and cut access to communications and information;
(g) The increasing and systematic targeting of human rights defenders, including, but not restricted to, lawyers, journalists, including intimidation of families of independent journalists from Persian-speaking media, and other media representatives, Internet providers, bloggers and netizens, who endure intimidation, interrogation, arrest, arbitrary detention,  long-term exile and/or harsh sentences, including death sentences, as a result of their activities, and noting in particular the upholding of prison sentences against staff members of the Defenders of Human
Rights Centre;
(h) Pervasive gender inequality and violence against women, a continued crackdown on women’s human rights defenders, arrests, violent repression and sentencing of women exercising their right to peaceful assembly, and increased discrimination against women and girls in law and in practice, including by limiting access to higher education, including the closure of seventy-seven fields of study to women by thirty-six universities; […]
UN Watch