The United Nations General Assembly condemns Iran’s human rights record

New York, Dec. 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A resolution calling on the Iranian government to end discrimination against minorities in Iran, including the Baha’i community, the country’s largest non-Muslim religious minority Iran, has been approved by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly. The resolution was first passed in November by the General Assembly’s Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs, also known as the Third Committee.

The resolution, introduced by Canada and 50 co-sponsors from all regions, passed by 80 votes to 29, with 65 abstentions.

In remarks during the Third Committee’s introduction to the resolution, Canada said it was concerned about “ongoing violations, particularly the systematic persecution of ethnic and religious minorities, including the Baha’i community”. New Zealand called for “accountability for the continued systemic oppression … of minority ethnic and religious communities, including the Bahá’í community”. And the United Kingdom cited “systematic repression of minority groups,” while Australia criticized the Iranian government for “unjustified discrimination against ethnic and religious” minorities.

“The international community calls on the Iranian government to stop violating minority rights and to respect the rights of all Iranian citizens, including Baha’is,” said Bani Dugal, the Baha’s chief representative. í International Community at the United Nations. . “The Baha’is in Iran know what it feels like to be detained on trumped-up charges, detained without due process, mistreated during interrogations, for families who fear for their loved ones, and to be slandered by the state, all because they stand up for their beliefs. No one in Iran should experience the injustice unfolding across the country.”

Resolutions on Iran’s human rights record have been tabled and approved every year since the early 1980s, making it one of the UN’s most persistent human rights issues, and one of only 14 current country-specific mandates. But the Iranian government has been under unprecedented pressure this year as the authorities have become increasingly violent and repressive against their own citizens. The UN Human Rights Council voted on Nov. 24 to create a special fact-finding mission to investigate the current crisis.

The vote in the General Assembly also follows recent news that Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi, two Iranian Baha’i women and prisoners of conscience, seen by many as symbols of resilience in Iran, have each been sentenced to a second 10-year prison term. year. .

More than 320 Baha’is have been affected by individual acts of persecution since the July 31 arrest of Mahvash and Fariba. Dozens were arrested at various points in Shiraz, Mazandaran province and elsewhere in the country. Baha’is homes in the village of Roshankouh were demolished. Government plans to target the Baha’is through hate speech and propaganda were also revealed. And at least 90 Baha’is are currently in prison or subject to degrading ankle monitors.

“Every day the whole world sees the courage and heroism of all Iranians, especially women, as they stand firm and sacrifice themselves to demand justice and equality despite the violent and ruthless suppression of their rights,” Ms Dugal added. “The resilience the Bahá’ís have shown during 43 years of persecution is an inseparable part of this story. Let this be the last year that Iran will be dragged before the United Nations to be reprimanded for human rights violations. Iranians deserve to be governed in a way they choose – and they choose human rights for all.”

CONTACT: James Samimi Farr U.S. Baha'i Office of Public Affairs 202.833.8990

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