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UN Adopts Resolution Condemning Iran’s Human Rights Violations

UN Adopts Resolution Condemning Iran’s Human Rights Violations

Friday, 20 December, 2019 - 15:30
People protest against increased gas price, on a highway in Tehran, Iran November 16, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution on December 18 calling on Iran to end its ongoing human rights violations.

The resolution passed with a vote of 81 to 30 and 70 abstentions. The draft resolution proposed by Canada had been approved by the Third Committee of the General Assembly on November 14.

The resolution has called on Iran to release persons detained solely for taking part in peaceful protests or the exercise of their human rights and fundamental freedoms.

According to Amnesty International at least 304 protesters, including 18 children, were killed by security forces during the protests against a three-fold hike in the price of gasoline.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi today condemned the UNGA resolution and said that “it is based on selective approaches, is partial, confrontational, and meant to serve political objectives”.

Amnesty International and civil society organizations urged the UN member countries to publicly condemn the grave human rights violations committed by the Iranian authorities who have not even announced the death toll of the recent protests.

In Brussels, members of European Parliament (MEP) denounced Iran for the repression of November protests, urging Iran to adhere to its international obligations and disclose the number of protester casualties.

On Thursday, in the European Parliament, a resolution was put to vote concerning the “disproportionate use of force” by Iranian security forces against protesters.

The MEPs said that “tens of thousands of people from all over Iran and representing all segments of society have exercised their fundamental right to freedom of assembly.... in the largest-scale unrest in 40 years”.

Nationwide protests in Iran began on Friday, November 15, after the Iranian government announced a 300% increase in petrol prices despite the fact that Iranians are already facing difficult financial circumstances due to US sanctions against the regime.

Under increasing economic pressure, partly as a result of US economic sanctions, and with more than 70 percent of the population in need of government support, thousands of people took to the streets.

Protesters, however, were met with brutal repression, along with a full internet blackout in the country to hide the crackdown.

According to Amnesty International, at least 304 people were killed and thousands more injured between November 15 and November 18. Several thousand people were arrested and many of them subjected to torture, according to Iranian human rights organizations.

“MEPs strongly condemn Iran’s decision to shut down internet access to global networks, as this is preventing communication and the free flow of information for Iranian citizens and is a clear violation of the freedom of speech,” read a press release about the European Parliament resolution.

“Calling on Iranian authorities to live up to their international obligations, MEPs urge EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell to continue raising human rights concerns with Iranian authorities at bilateral and multilateral meetings.”

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