UN shows ‘deep concern’ over Iran’s rights record

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 22, 2010 (AFP) – The UN General Assembly on Tuesday approved a resolution expressing “deep concern” over “recurring” human rights violations in Iran, where authorities have been targeting rights lawyers in their ongoing crackdown on dissent.

The resolution, approved 78-45 with 59 abstentions, follows a December 13 letter from more than 80 leading world figures urging Iran to free Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, the woman sentenced to death by stoning in a case that has attracted global attention.

The General Assembly “expresses deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations” in Iran, such as “torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including flogging and amputations.”
The Assembly also noted “the continuing high incidence and dramatic increase in the carrying out of the death penalty in the absence of international recognized safeguards, including public executions” by stoning and hanging.
The Assembly decried the used of capital punishment on people who were younger than 18 at the time of the crime.

The resolution also noted “pervasive gender inequality and violence against women, a continued crackdown on women’s human rights defenders, arrests, violation repression and sentencing of women exercising their right to peaceful assembly.”
The resolution noted the severe limitations on freedom of thought and freedom of religion in Iran. It criticized arbitrary arrests as well as the long prison sentences handed out for prisoners of conscience.

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