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UN Watch Welcomes General Assembly Resolution on Iran

Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch applauds the passage of today’s Western-drafted UN General Assembly resolution criticizing Iran’s human rights record, by a vote of 84 to 30, with 67 abstentions.

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer issued the following statement:

We welcome today’s increase in votes compared to last year in the UN General Assembly’s adoption of an important resolution that calls out Iran for its systemic discrimination against women and girls, human rights violations against members of ethnic, linguistic, and religious minorities, including Arabs, Azeris, Bahai, Balochis, Jews and Kurds, and its ongoing severe restrictions on freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Today’s 84-30 decision, an increase of three more supporting nations from last year’s vote on a similar text, highlights the growing disconnect between Iran’s obligations, under international law and its own constitution, to protect and defend the rights of its people, and the actions of regime officials to stifle all forms of dissent, persecute religious and ethnic minorities, harass and intimidate human rights defenders, and engage in the torture of detainees.

The death in detention last week of Vahid Sayadi Nasiri, imprisoned for Facebook posts critical of Tehran’s rulers, only underscores the urgent need for the international community to hold Iran accountable for its human rights abuses. Today the world sent a strong message to the fanatical regime, and that must continue.

Iran’s brutal repression continues unabated in the face of repeated international condemnation and increasing isolation. UN Watch condemns the growing use of the death penalty for minor crimes and without due process.

UN Watch stands with the people of Iran, who wish nothing more than to make their voices heard and hold their government accountable for its actions. We call upon the international community to use the occasion of this resolution to redouble its condemnation of Iran’s escalating abuse of the human rights of all its citizens, and to demand a change.

Key Facts on Human Rights in Iran

• Iran continues to maintain the highest per capita execution rate in the world. These executions typically take place after unfair trials, and are for crimes that do not constitute the “most serious crimes” under international law, such as drug-related offenses.

• Executions in Iran have included the execution of child offenders, including at least nine in the last two years; public executions; and the execution of individuals on vaguely worded offenses, such as “enmity against God” (moharebeh). In August 2016, authorities hanged 25 Sunni men, of whom 22 were from Iran’s Kurdish minority and three were Iraqi nationals, on charges of moharebeh.

Iran continues to harshly restrict the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression, association, and assembly. These restrictions include widespread censorship of the press and Internet, the criminalization of peaceful dissent and protests, arbitrary restrictions on civil society, a ban on independent labor activities, and persecution for certain acts of religious worship.

• Iran relies on the systematic use of arbitrary detention against journalists, lawyers, human rights defenders, political activists, student activists, artists and bloggers for exercising their protected rights.

• Ethnic minority activists, including Arabs, Baluchis, Kurds and Azerbaijani Turks, and members of minority religions, such as Baha’is, Christian converts, Sunni Muslims, Sufi Muslims and the Yarasan, also face similar patterns of abuse and restriction of their rights.

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