The UN General Assembly’s committee on social, humanitarian and cultural issues has approved a resolution condemning the widespread and serious violations of human rights committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran since the eruption of nationwide protests in September last year.
The resolution, drafted by Canada, was passed by the Third Committee of the 78th General Assembly on November 15 by a vote of 80 in favor to 29 against, with 65 abstentions.
The text condemns the use of “mass arrests and arbitrary detention, the disproportionate use of force..and the imposition and carrying out of the death penalty against those connected to the protests.”
It also expresses “serious concern at reports of ill-treatment during arrest, physical and psychological abuse, and physical violence in detention, including sexual and gender-based violence.”
The Iranian deputy UN envoy, Zahra Ershadi, rejected the resolution, calling it "biased and politically motivated."
Abram Paley, the US deputy special envoy for Iran, said on the social media platform X that the United States stands with the people of Iran “as they continue their fight against oppression and violence and for a free and democratic future.”
Today, we joined 79 other UN members in condemning the Iranian regime’s horrific human rights abuses. We stand with the people of Iran as they continue their fight against oppression and violence and for a free and democratic future. pic.twitter.com/Y17s59Y6JJ— Office of the Special Envoy for Iran (@USEnvoyIran) November 15, 2023
More than 500 people were killed by Iranian security forces and over 20,000 were unlawfully detained during the monthslong unrest sparked by the September 2022 death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody for allegedly wearing a headscarf improperly.
Following biased trials, the judiciary has handed down stiff sentences, including the death penalty, to protesters. Seven of them have been executed so far.
In its resolution, the Third Committee condemns the “alarmingly high frequency of the imposition of the death penalty and significant increase in the carrying-out of the death penalty by the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of its international obligations, including executions undertaken against persons on the basis of forced confessions and without fair trial and due process.”
It calls on the authorities to cease the “widespread and systematic” use of arbitrary arrests and detention and calls for an end to the practice of “deliberately denying prisoners access to adequate medical treatment and supplies, safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, or making such access contingent upon confession, as well as the use of sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, against prisoners.”
The resolution also condemns the “intensified, targeted repression of women and girls, both online and offline,” and “strongly urges the Islamic Republic of Iran to eliminate, in law and in practice, all forms of systemic discrimination and verbal and physical harassment against women and girls.”
The Islamic Republic mandates that all women in Iran cover their hair with a headscarf and wear loose-fitting trousers under their coats, but a growing number of them have appeared in public without hijab over the past year.
Some of these defiant women were arrested, were summoned by the authorities, and faced legal proceedings.
Hundreds of small businesses and shopping malls have been shut down under the accusation of failing to enforce hijab rules on their customers.