News

    UN General Assembly Condemns Post-Election Abuses in Iran

    In a vote of 74 in favor, 48 against and 59 abstentions, the General Assembly committee responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural affairs - known as the Third Committee -adopted the resolution co-sponsored by Canada and 41 other countries.

    United Nations General Assembly (File)
    United Nations General Assembly (File)
    Margaret Besheer

    The U.N. General Assembly has condemned human rights violations in Iran, particularly those that have occurred since last June's disputed presidential election, when thousands of opposition supporters were arrested and detained. 

    In a vote of 74 in favor, 48 against and 59 abstentions, the General Assembly committee responsible for social, humanitarian and cultural affairs - known as the Third Committee -adopted the resolution co-sponsored by Canada and 41 other countries.

    For the last seven years, the assembly has adopted a similar resolution criticizing human rights violations in Iran. But this year, in addition to expressing concern over on-going abuses, the resolution noted with particular concern violations that have taken place since the disputed June presidential election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to office.

    After the vote, thousands of people were detained during street protests led by opposition supporters who claim President Ahmadinejad's victory was rigged. More than a 100 activists were tried on charges of inciting unrest and plotting to overthrow the government. This week Iranian state television reported that five people had been sentenced to death and another 81 were sentenced to up to 15 years in jail.

    Canadian Ambassador John McNee said Iran has consistently failed to live up to its international human rights obligations.

    "These failings were made only all the more evident following the June 12 presidential election, when the use of force by Iranian security forces resulted in the death, injury and arrest of many individuals; when many of those who were detained were subjected to torture and denied access to legal representation; when freedom of association, assembly and expression were drastically curtailed," he said.

    He added that as long as such serious violations continue, the General Assembly must encourage positive change.

    The resolution also noted the increase in the number of executions following the election and condemned the general use of the death penalty in Iran, especially when applied to minors.

    The body called on the Iranian government to launch a "credible, impartial and independent investigation into the allegations of post-Presidential election human rights violations," and to end other abuses including stoning, flogging, amputations and public executions.

    Iran's U.N. Ambassador, Mohammad Khazaee, denounced the resolution as "politically charged and motivated" and full of false claims.

    "Abusing the U.N. human rights mechanisms for short sighted political experiences reduces the highly valued concept of human rights into a tool of foreign policy for certain countries. This has created an atmosphere of confrontation and polarization which would only erode the capacity of the United Nations for the meaningful promotion of human rights," he said.

    Many of the member states that abstained or cast "no" votes said they are opposed to resolutions that single out specific countries for censure. Others said they believe the right place for discussing human rights is in Geneva at the Human Rights Council. 

    The resolution must now be approved at a plenary session of the 192-member world body where its adoption is virtually assured.
     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora