UN decries Iran’s “serious ongoing and recurring” human rights violations

An interior view of the United Nations General Assembly hall, New York City. UN Photo/Sophia Paris. United Nations, 20 December 2012 (BWNS) — The UN General Assembly today expressed “deep concern” over Iran's “serious ongoing and recurring” human rights violations, decrying abuses that include torture, an increase in executions, widespread restrictions on freedom of expression, and discrimination against minorities, including members of the Baha’i Faith.

By a vote of 86 to 32 with 65 abstentions, the General Assembly called upon Iran to stop such violations, to release prisoners of conscience, and to open its doors to international human rights monitors.

“This vote signals loud and clear the international community's refusal to accept Iran’s ongoing and intensifying repression of its own people – or the government's claims that such violations do not take place,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.

“The list of abuses outlined in this resolution is long and cruel. Overall, the picture it paints is of a government that is so afraid of its own people that it cannot tolerate anyone who holds a viewpoint that is different from its own repressive ideology.”

“For the Baha’is, there has been persistent and worsening persecution at the hands of the government and its agents,” she observed.

The text of the resolution – which was put forward by Canada and co-sponsored by 43 other countries – calls on Iran to better cooperate with UN human rights monitors, particularly by allowing them to make visits to Iran, and asks the UN Secretary General to report back next year on Iran’s progress at fulfilling its human rights obligations.

The resolution was the 25th such on human rights violations in Iran by the General Assembly since 1985.