Saturday, November 19, 2005

UN censures Iran over human rights

CanWest News Service - Canada led a UN censure of Iran yesterday over human rights abuses, the same day the world body's nuclear watchdog revealed the Islamic republic has a blueprint for making at least part of a nuclear bomb.

...The Canadian-proposed human rights censure of Iran marked the third successive year Ottawa has sought and won such a measure.

Iran suggested Canada was acting out of spite because of poor relations between the countries, which have deteriorated significantly since the 2003 death in Iranian police custody of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-born photographer with Canadian citizenship.

The resolution demanded Iran end numerous violations, including public floggings, executions of children, torture, intimidation of political reformists and persecution of religious minorities.
It was passed by 77 to 51, with 45 abstentions in a committee open to all 191 UN member states.

Next month, the resolution will go to the UN General Assembly, which is expected to make it a part of the international record.

"We've tried dialogue with the government of Iran, and we've tried engagement, and it hasn't worked," Allan Rock, Canada's ambassador to the UN, said after the vote.

"This is not a situation of isolated incidents ... [When] the government of the country is part of the problem [as] an instrument in human rights abuses, it's time for the international community to speak up."

He said evidence Iran had lobbied heavily to try to have countries reject the resolution showed how much it considered the censure a major blow...