UN Responds to Iranian human rights violations

A resolution initiated by Canada at the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee, addressing the human rights situation in Iran was passed on 21 November 2006. The resolution responded to

increasing discrimination, and other human rights violations against persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, recognized or otherwise, including Arabs, Azeris, Baluchis, Kurds, Christians, Jews, Sufis and Sunni Muslims, the escalation and increased frequency of discrimination and other human rights violations against members of the Baha’i Faith, including reports of plans by the state to identify and monitor Baha’is, as noted by the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief an increase in cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, the denial of freedom of religion or of publicly carrying out communal affairs, the disregard of property rights, including through de facto expropriation, as noted in the report of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, the destruction of sites of religious importance, the suspension of social, educational and community-related activities and the denial of access to higher education, employment, pensions, adequate housing and other benefits, and recent violent crackdowns on Arabs, Azeris, Baha’is, Kurds, and Sufis.

The resolution also calls on Iran to

eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of discrimination based on religious, ethnic or linguistic grounds, and other human rights violations against persons belonging to minorities, including Arabs, Azeris, Baha’is, Baluchis, Kurds, Christians, Jews, Sufis, and Sunni Muslims, to refrain from monitoring individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs, to ensure that minorities’ access to education be on par with that of all Iranians, and to address these matters in an open manner, with the full participation of the minorities themselves, to otherwise ensure full respect for the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief of all persons, and to implement the 1996 report of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on religious intolerance, which recommended ways in which the Islamic Republic of Iran could emancipate the Baha’i community.

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