Diplomacy

UN Passes Resolution Condemning Iran for “Severe” Human Rights Violations

A Canadian-backed resolution condemning Iran for “severe” human rights violations passed the United Nations General Assembly by a wide margin, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

The resolution passed by a margin of 84 to 30, with 67 abstentions.

Iran was “strongly” urged by the resolution to end its discrimination against women. It also expressed, “serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief” in Iran.

The resolution faulted Iran for its mistreatment of minorities, including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and Baha’i. It also called on Iran to release Baha’i leaders, who are currently imprisoned.

Iran was also exhorted by the resolution to end its “widespread and serious restrictions” on journalists, environmentalists, labor leaders, human rights activists, and academics.

The resolution praised Iran for removing the death penalty for certain drug crimes but criticized the Islamic Republic for the frequency it carried out executions, the vague wording of certain capital offenses, and subjecting minors to the death penalty.

The resolution passed a week after hunger-striking Iranian human rights campaigner Vahid Sayadi Nasiri died in prison. Nasiri had been arrested and sentenced to eight years in jail in 2015 for insulting Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The activist had been released in March of this year but was re-arrested in August.

In a statement released Tuesday, Hillel Neuer, the Executive Director of United Nations Watch, hailed the passage of the resolution noting that the 84 votes in favor marked “an increase of three more supporting nations from last year’s vote on a similar text.”

Neuer cited the death of Nasiri as signifying “the urgent need for the international community to hold Iran accountable for its human rights abuses.” He added that the General Assembly vote “sent a strong message to the fanatical regime.”

[Photo: Ron Cogswell / Flickr ]