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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.