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UN committee expresses concern for human rights in Iran

The Third Committee [official website] of the UN General Assembly on Tuesday adopted a resolution [text, PDF] expressing concern for continuing human rights violations in Iran. The committee specifically mentioned that Iran is using torture, inhumane treatment of prisoners, public executions, executions of minors, hanging as an execution method, targeting of human rights defenders, and discrimination and violence against women and ethnic minorities. It also expressed concern over restrictions placed on eligibility and activities of 2012 parliamentary election candidates. The committee called on the government of Iran to take substantial steps to address these human rights concerns and conform its human rights standards to international human rights standards, as well as to ensure that the 2013 presidential election is "free, fair, transparent and inclusive."

Iran has also been criticized by other human rights groups recently for its treatment of prisoners and other human rights abuses. Earlier this month Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] detailed abuses against female prisoners [JURIST report] and called on the government to investigate alleged mistreatment. Last month Iran executed 10 men [JURIST report] for drug charges, despite objections from the UN and AI. An AI director said that drug charges do not rise to the level of a crime that would permit use of the death penalty and claimed the Iranian government "know(s) full well" that these actions were not consistent with international human rights standards. Also last month the UN reported that Iran was torturing human rights activists [JURIST report] and threatening their families with rape and death.

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