United for Iran welcomes the UN General Assembly’s condemnation of human rights abuses
NEW YORK – (December 21, 2012) – Yesterday, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn the Iranian Government for “serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations” in the country. Member states deplored abuses against the Iranian people, which include mass executions, torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, intimidation, and a wide range of other tactics to suppress dissent and activism. The important move by the world body strengthens international pressure on Iran to release political prisoners, cooperate with UN monitors, and comply with all of its human rights obligations.
The resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran, which passed by a wide vote margin of 86 to 32 with 65 abstentions, expresses deep concern for “ongoing, systematic, widespread, and serious” abuses. It delineates vast and troubling restrictions on freedom of association, peaceful assembly, and freedom of opinion and expression, as well as the systematic targeting of human rights defenders, activists, religious and ethnic minorities. Further, the resolution describes pervasive gender inequality and failure to uphold the rule of law.
United for Iran joined the world’s leading human rights and press freedom organizations advocating for the passage of a robust resolution in a letter campaign calling on UN member states to support the resolution. “The Islamic Republic of Iran has increasingly and systematically repressed its population and committed widespread abuses with impunity,” wrote the authors of the most recent letter, sent to states ahead of yesterday’s vote. “Until the Islamic Republic of Iran stops its repressive practices against its people and begins cooperation and compliance with its international human rights obligations, the international community has a responsibility to stand up for the Iranian people and hold their government to account for its vast transgressions.”
While applauding the demonstrative show of support for the measure, United for Iran also expresses disappointment that many non-Western democratic powers abstained or even opposed the resolution. In a recent report issued by United for Iran, the organization specifically urged South Africa, Brazil, Turkey, Indonesia, Nigeria, and India to take leadership and begin supporting critical human rights resolutions on Iran.
“For Iran to make progress on human rights and begin the process of democratization, countries around the world, including states that enjoy close ties to Iran, must demonstrate a clear commitment to advance the legitimate democratic demands of the Iranian people,” the report stated. Sadly, not one of these countries supported the measure yesterday, shirking their international duties to uphold basic standards of human rights. United for Iran urges these and other non-Western states to join the responsible community of nations in supporting future resolutions at the UN Human Rights Council and General Assembly.
The resolution, which was offered by the Canadian Government and cosponsored by 43 other states, represents the 25th resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran to make its way through the UN General Assembly since 1985. The continued passage this essential resolution by wide margins shows Iran’s leaders that world will not stand idly by in the face of the stark human rights violations perpetrated against innocent Iranians.