ICHR 20 December, 2013 – The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday December 18, 2013 condemned Iran and Syria for widespread human rights abuses but it welcomed pledges by Iran’s president to improve in some areas. In November, UN third committee of general assembly had adopted these resolutions.
The resolution on Iran was approved with 86 votes in favor, 36 against and 61 abstentions, and the draft on Syria was adopted with 127 votes in favor, 13 against and 47 abstentions. Iranian and Syrian governments lobbied hard against adoption of the resolutions.
While the resolution on Iran expressed concern at serious ongoing abuses, it acknowledged pledges by Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, on human rights issues such as eliminating discrimination against women and members of ethnic minorities and promoting freedom of expression and opinion. It also praised Rouhani’s plan to implement a civil rights charter, encouraging Iranian government to take concrete action to ensure these pledges can result in demonstrable improvements as soon as possible and to uphold the government’s obligations under its domestic laws and under international human rights law.
Ardeshir Zarezadeh, ICHR director who wrote an article on president Rouhani’s Civil Rights Charter, believes that this charter has nothing new to offer and is mostly repeating Islamic Sharia Law as well as constitution under Supreme leader ruling.
The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, told the committee in October that Iran’s rights record should not be overlooked amid overtures to the West by Rouhani. He criticized Tehran for executing 724 people in 18 months, including dozens after Rouhani was elected in June.
“Despite the hard work of Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, the resolution does not reflect the actual human rights situation inside Iran and will be counterproductive. Therefore we request UN and international community to take serious actions against Iranian regime”, said Ardeshir Zarezadeh.
The resolution on Syria strongly condemned “the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms and all violations of international humanitarian law by the Syrian authorities and the government affiliated shabbiha militias.”
More than 100,000 people have been killed during a 2-1/2 year civil war in Syria, which has forced millions to flee.