Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Canada’s UN resolution brings threats of retaliation from Iran

The United Nations General Assembly’s Third Committee is due to vote Nov. 21 on a Canada-sponsored resolution that urges an end to human rights violations in Iran. If approved, the resolution will be put to a final vote by the entire General Assembly.

Each year since Montreal photo-journalist Zahra Kazemi was beaten to death in 2003 in a Tehran prison, Canada has sponsored a similar resolution. Iran charged an intelligence official with Kazemi’s murder, but he was cleared of the charge. Kazemi’s body, which was buried before her family could see it, has never been examined by an international forensic team.

This year’s resolution has brought threats of diplomatic retaliation from Iran’s foreign ministry.

“The Canadian government’s current approach will deprive that country [Canada] from the chance to take advantage of equal and fair relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“Canada’s hostile action toward the Islamic Republic of Iran is deserving of an appropriate response.”

Thanks to the Web site of former Canadian MP, David Kilgour, here’s the Canadian motion:

  • Stop amputations, floggings, other forms of torture and other inhuman and degrading punishments;
  • End public executions and other executions done in violation of internationally recognized safeguards;
  • Abolish executions of persons who were at the time of their offence under the age of 18;
  • Eliminate all forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against women and girls;
  • Cease discrimination and other human rights violations against religious, ethnic, linguistic and other minorities;
  • Emancipate the Baha’i religious community;
  • Terminate the persecution of political opponents and human rights defenders, including the release from prison of political prisoners;
  • Uphold due process of law and end impunity for violators of human rights; and
  • Requests an update on the human rights situation in Iran from the Secretary General.smleaf

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