U.N. committee slams Iran over human rights record

Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:35pm GMT

By Louis Charbonneau

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - A U.N. General Assembly committee Tuesday accused Iran of serious human rights violations in a move that an incensed Iranian delegate said was orchestrated by the United States and its allies.

The resolution on Iran in the General Assembly's human rights committee was sponsored by the United States, European Union, Canada and other Western countries. It received 80 votes in favour -- six more than a similar declaration received last year -- 44 against and 57 abstentions.

The resolution said the assembly "expresses deep concern at serious ongoing human rights violations in the Islamic Republic of Iran." Such violations include torture, flogging, amputations, stoning, and "pervasive gender inequality and violence against women."

It also voiced "particular concern" at what it said was the government's failure to launch a thorough investigation of alleged human rights violations in the wake of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's contested re-election in 2009.

The resolution called on Iran to end discrimination and religious intolerance and urged it to improve its treatment of practitioners of the Baha'i faith. It said seven Baha'i leaders detained since 2008 deserved legal representation and "timely, fair and open legal proceedings."

Earlier Thursday the Third Committee passed resolutions condemning the human rights situations in Myanmar and North Korea. All three declarations will be formally adopted by the General Assembly next month.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice issued a statement welcoming all three resolutions.

"By condemning three of the world's most egregious human rights abusers ... member states have stayed true to the founding values of the U.N. as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," she said.   Continued...

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