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UN committee urges Iran to respect rights obligations

[JURIST] The UN General Assembly Third Committee Tuesday approved [UN press release] a draft resolution [PDF text] imploring Iran [JURIST news archive] to "respect fully its human rights obligations." The draft expressed concern about ongoing human rights violations in Iran despite previous resolutions condemning acts including torture, public executions, and discrimination against minorities and women. The draft calls on the Iranian government:

a) To eliminate, in law and in practice, amputations and flogging and other forms of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;
(b) To abolish, in law and in practice, public executions and other executions carried out in the absence of respect for internationally recognized safeguards;
(c) To abolish, in law and in practice, the use of stoning as a method of execution;
(d) To abolish [...] executions of persons who at the time of their offence were under the age of 18;
(e) To eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls;
(f) To eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against persons belonging to religious, ethnic, linguistic or other minorities, recognized or otherwise, to refrain from monitoring individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs, and to ensure that access of minorities to education and employment is on par with that of all Iranians;
(g) To implement, inter alia, the 1996 report of the Special Rapporteur on religious intolerance,6 which recommended ways in which the Islamic Republic of Iran could emancipate the Baha'i community;
(h) To end the harassment, intimidation and persecution of political opponents and human rights defenders, including by releasing persons imprisoned arbitrarily or on the basis of their political views; [and]
(i) To uphold due process of law rights, and to end impunity for human rights violations.
The committee passed the resolution with a vote of 72-50, with 55 abstentions. Iranian UN Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee [official website] criticized main resolution sponsor Canada - with which Iran has recently had a rocky relationship [JURIST news archive] on rights matters - for relying on "illusionary and nonexisting claims and allegations" to garner support. The resolution now moves to a vote in the General Assembly.

The General Assembly passed its most recent resolution addressing Iranian human rights violations [PDF text] in December 2006; it was widely believed to be ineffective. Tuesday's draft resolution encouraged Iran to allow visits of Human Rights Council special procedures [official website], who have been excluded since July 2005. AP has more.

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