UN General Assembly Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, 17 December 1999
Economic and Social Council
24 February 2000
Agenda item 116 (c)
RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
[on the report of the Third Committee (A/54/605/Add.3)]
54/177. Human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The General Assembly,
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Resolution 217 A (III). the International Covenants on Human Rights, Resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex. and other human rights instruments,
Reaffirming that all Member States have an obligation to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms and to fulfil the obligations they have undertaken under the various international instruments in this field,
Mindful that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a party to the International Covenants on Human Rights,
Recalling its previous resolutions on this subject, including the most recent, resolution 53/158 of 9 December 1998, and taking note of Commission on Human Rights resolution 1999/13 of 23 April 1999, See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1999, Supplement No. 3 (E/1999/23), chap. II, sect. A.
1. Welcomes the interim report of the Special Representative of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran; See A/54/365.
2. Also welcomes the stated commitment of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to promote the rule of law, including the elimination of arbitrary arrest and detention, and to reform the legal and penitentiary system and bring it into line with international human rights standards in this field;
3. Further welcomes the continued public debate in the Islamic Republic of Iran on issues of governance and human rights, encourages further efforts to ensure freedom of opinion, of the press and of cultural activities, and also welcomes the support given by the Government to the development of non-governmental organizations;
4. Welcomes the progress in democracy achieved by the holding of local elections in the Islamic Republic of Iran in February 1999, trusts that the forthcoming elections to the Majlis will be held with full respect for due democratic process, and calls upon the Government to continue its efforts towards strengthening democracy and the holding of free and fair elections;
5. Also welcomes the needs assessment mission undertaken by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to the Islamic Republic of Iran at the invitation of the Government, as well as the invitation by the Government to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances to visit the country, and expresses the hope that the visit will take place soon;
6. Further welcomes the efforts undertaken by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to investigate the cases of disappearances and killings of intellectuals and political activists, and calls upon the Government to continue its efforts to investigate the cases fully in due process of law and to bring the perpetrators to justice;
7. Takes note with interest of the gradual increase in the presence of women in public life in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the efforts made by the Government in this regard, expresses its concern at the continued discrimination in law and in practice against women, and calls upon the Government to take further measures to ensure the full and equal enjoyment by women of their human rights;
8. Also takes note with interest of the focus of the Islamic Human Rights Commission on the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and expresses the hope that the Commission will align itself with the 1993 principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights; Resolution 48/134, annex.
9. Expresses its concern at continuing threats by the 15 Khordad Foundation to the life of Salman Rushdie, including the increase in the bounty announced by the Foundation after the assurance given by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in New York in September 1998, and welcomes the assurance given by the Government that it has no intention of taking any action whatsoever to threaten the life of Mr. Rushdie and those associated with his work or of encouraging or assisting anyone to do so, and that it dissociates itself from any reward offered in this regard and does not support it;
10. Also expresses its concern that, since 1996, no invitation has been extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Special Representative to visit the country, and calls upon the Government to resume its full cooperation with the Special Representative and to extend an invitation to him to visit the country;
11. Expresses its serious concern at the continuing violations of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as reported by the Special Representative, in particular executions in the apparent absence of respect for internationally recognized safeguards, the use of national security laws as a basis for derogating from the rights of the individual, cases of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment as well as the failure to meet international standards in the administration of justice and the absence of due process of law, and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take all necessary steps to end the use of torture and the practice of amputation, stoning and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment;
12. Expresses its concern at the restrictions on freedom of expression, opinion, thought and the press and at the interference with the work of writers and journalists and the closure of publications, as well as at the circumstances surrounding the arrests of individuals based on involvement in student demonstrations and at reports that some of them may be subject to death sentences, or other harsh sentences, and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take further measures to secure freedom of expression, opinion, thought and the press;
13. Also expresses its concern at the discrimination against religious minorities, in particular the Baha'is, and remains gravely concerned at the unabated pattern of persecution against the Baha'is, including death sentences, arrests and the closure of the Baha'i Institute of Higher Education, and calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to implement fully the conclusions and recommendations of the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on religious intolerance relating to the Baha'is and other religious minorities until they are completely emancipated;
14. Calls upon the authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran to make further efforts to ensure for all the application of due process of law by the judiciary in all instances and, in this context to ensure a fair and transparent trial for the group of people detained early in 1999, which includes thirteen members of the Iranian Jewish community, and notes the stated commitments of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in this regard;
15. Also calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to continue its efforts and to abide by its freely undertaken obligations under the International Covenants on Human Rights2 and other international instruments on human rights, and to ensure that all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction, including persons belonging to religious minorities, enjoy the rights enshrined in those instruments;
16. Further calls upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to ensure that capital punishment will not be imposed for crimes other than the most serious, for apostasy or otherwise in disregard of the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights2 and United Nations safeguards, and to provide the Special Representative with relevant statistics on this matter;
17. Decides to continue the examination of the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the situation of minority groups such as the Baha'is, at its fifty-fifth session under the item entitled "Human rights questions", in the light of additional elements provided by the Commission on Human Rights.
83rd plenary meeting
17 December 1999