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UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human rights

RonPrice

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UNITED NATIONS, 18 November (BWNS) - A committee of the UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its continued and increasing violations of human rights.

By a vote of 80 to 44, the Assembly's Third Committee approved a resolution that "expresses deep concern at serious ongoing and recurring human rights violations" in Iran. There were 57 abstentions. The vote came after Iran attempted a "no-action motion," aimed at blocking the resolution by calling for adjournment of the debate. The motion failed by a vote of 51 in favor to 91 against, with 32 abstentions.

In its specifics, the resolution takes note of recent reports of Iran's continued use of torture, an intensified crackdown on human rights defenders, "pervasive gender inequality and violence against women," & discrimination against minorities, including members of the Baha'i Faith. "The wording of the resolution, which is the 23rd such condemnation of Iran since 1985, leaves no doubt that the world remains deeply concerned with Iran's continued human rights violations," said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha'i International Community to the United Nations.

The five-page document echoes concerns expressed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who issued a report in October that criticized Iran's use of torture and the death penalty, its poor treatment of women, and repeated violations of due process of law, as well as its failure to protect the rights of minorities, such as the Baha'i, Sufi, Baluch and Kurdish communities.

The resolution also calls on Iran to cooperate with international human rights monitors and to allow them into the country. "The Baha'i International Community strongly welcomes this resolution, not only for its clear-sighted view of what is happening in Iran but also for its call for increased monitoring," said Ms. Dugal. "As the resolution notes, it has been more than five years since Iran allowed UN officials into the country to investigate reports of human rights violations--something that is clearly unacceptable, especially for a country that claims to the world that it has nothing to hide."

Put forward by 42 co-sponsors, the resolution's passage today by the Third Committee virtually assures final approval by the General Assembly Plenary in December. The resolution devoted an entire paragraph to Iran's treatment of members of the Baha'i Faith, cataloging an extensive list of recent incidents and attacks on Baha'is.

In particular, it noted "increasing evidence of efforts by the State to identify, monitor and arbitrarily detain Baha'is, preventing members of the Baha'i faith from attending university and from sustaining themselves economically, the confiscation and destruction of their property,” and “the vandalizing of their cemeteries.” It also expressed concern over the recent trial and sentencing of seven Baha'i leaders, saying they were "repeatedly denied the due process of law."

Copyright 2010 by the Baha'i World News Service. Stories and photographs produced by the Baha'i World News Service may be freely reprinted, re-emailed, re-posted to the World Wide Web and otherwise reproduced by any individual or organization as long as they are attributed to the Baha'i World News Service. For more information.
 

spud_meister

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

I'm sure this has Iran quaking in their boots.
 

RonPrice

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

Indeed, spud_meister, not much quaking going on in Iran due to this Un committee resolution. "Such is life," as the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly is reported to have said on the way to the gallows in 1880.-Ron Price, Tasmania
 

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

I have to sincerely doubt that Iran will change its behavior in any smallest way, due to a UN resolution. The UN does not exactly have a record of actually doing anything much about those nations it condemns.
 

RonPrice

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

You've got that one right, Goshin. In my 50++ years as a Baha'i the main source of any publicity, of increased awareness of the history and teachings of this new world religion, in the internaitonal arena occurs when the Baha'is in iran are getting "hit hard."--Ron Price, Australia
 

Mika-El

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

I have to sincerely doubt that Iran will change its behavior in any smallest way, due to a UN resolution. The UN does not exactly have a record of actually doing anything much about those nations it condemns.

Sure it does. It appoints these nations to its human rights committee and appoints their leaders such as Moe Ghaddafi, Chairman of the Human Rights Committee.
 

Mika-El

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

You've got that one right, Goshin. In my 50++ years as a Baha'i the main source of any publicity, of increased awareness of the history and teachings of this new world religion, in the internaitonal arena occurs when the Baha'is in iran are getting "hit hard."--Ron Price, Australia

The persecution of Bahaiis in Iran certainly does not seem to get much air waves. Then again you understand the frustration of the southern Sudanese or the many other persecuted groups within the Middle East such as the Berbers, Kurds, Assyrians, gays, Jews, Christians, Ahmadi Muslims, etc.

I believe the suffering of the Bahaii people is not in vain. Call me naive the courage of its people in Iran is in the long run going to get out and inspire many to speak out about the persecution caused by extremist fundamentalist Muslims using sharia law through their governments to engage in this persecution.

I know it means little to say that, but I believe your people's suffering in the long run will lead to a more positive world. Maybe I am ridiculously naive for saying that.
 

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

I know it means little to say that, but I believe your people's suffering in the long run will lead to a more positive world. Maybe I am ridiculously naive for saying that.

With the prevailing orthodoxy of the European politically correct being as it is, I would say that the suffering of a people doesn't necessarily lead to any sort of understanding. People will join in persecuting small minorities when the cost for not doing so involves nothing but disapproval from their mates.
 
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RonPrice

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

This item below may interest you folks in relation to the Baha'is in Iran.-Ron Price, Tasmania
------------------------
The article appeared at the internet site: Iran Press Watch. It is a long piece and you might like to just skim or scan it. I have cut the article short to fit into the 13,000 word frame at this site.

Documenting the Persecution of the Baha’i Community in Iran, Criminalizing the Baha’i Religion, March 15th, 2009 By Dr. Christopher Buck.
----------------------------------------------

The opposite of freedom of religion is the banning of religion......The Baha’i faith-community in Iran is a case in point. Iran has effectively banned the Baha’i religion by criminalizing it as a religious organization.

On the heels of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian regime tried to eradicate the Baha’i Faith as a viable religious organization by executing its leaders. In 1981, the state summarily executed all nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran. In 1984 and 1986, Iranian authorities executed the majority of the members of the new National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, which had been elected to replace the martyred members of that same council.

After two failed attempts, which drew international condemnation, the Iranian leadership soon discovered that, whenever it tried to “cut off the head” of the Baha’i community, the head would grow back, for the simple reason that the Baha’i community would democratically elect a new national administrative body.

The alternative to killing was criminalization. In 1983, when summary executions of elected Baha’i leaders didn’t work (because new Baha’i leaders were soon elected to take their place), the government of Iran simply outlawed Baha’i administration in toto. This was a stroke of evil genius. For the Iranian regime knew that the Baha’i administrative councils had no legal recourse but to comply. In strict conformity to the Baha’i principle of obedience to government, the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Iran, in quiet grandeur, complied with the Iranian ban on organized Baha’i activity by voluntarily suspending its administrative network (August 1983).

In 1996, thirteen years later, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Question of Religious Intolerance (in his report to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights) urged that “the ban on the Baha’i organization should be lifted to enable it to organize itself freely through its administrative institutions, which are vital in the absence of a clergy, so that it can engage fully in its religious activities.” See Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “Iran: International Religious Freedom Report” (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2001, Iran).

This fell on deaf ears in the hardened hearts of the ardent “Islamic” ruling elite. Confronted with the Special Rapporteur’s concerns, Iranian officials declared that the Baha’is “are not a religious minority, but a political organization which was associated with the Shah’s regime, is against the Iranian Revolution and engages in espionage activities.” (Id.)

Given that Baha’is shun partisan politics like the plague, this argument was as specious as it was spurious. The charge of espionage is especially incredible. In its open letter to Iran’s Prosecutor-General, the editors of Iran Press Watch wrote:

Since, on comparative legal grounds, the case bears no facial semblance to any act of “classical spying” that is criminalized under any statutory “Espionage Act” under any system of jurisprudence, we can only conclude that the State cannot meet its burden of proof by laying out a prima facie case for espionage.

We hasten to correct the State’s misapprehension on some of the finer points of comparative espionage law. In the West, espionage statutes are typically explicit in phrasing the crime of espionage as an act of obtaining information relating to the national defense to be used to the advantage of any foreign nation (often with no distinction made between friend or enemy). In light of the foregoing, what “state secrets” have been compromised? Where is the threat to the State’s external security and internal stability? The accused are not agents of Israel. They are not even “minor” espionage agents. In fact, there is not a shred of reliable evidence that any of the seven accused were involved with any known conspiracy.

(Iran Press Watch, “Trial of Iranian Baha’i leadership: An Open Letter to Ayatollah Dorri-Najafabadi.”, Trial of Iranian Baha.)

Subsequent to the suspension of formal Baha’i administration in 1983, the affairs of the Baha’i community were managed by an informal three-member committee in each locality. Each local Baha’i coordinating body was known as the Khademin (“Servants”). Later on, a three-member national committee was formalized as the institution of “The Friends in Iran.” Nationally and locally, the Yaran (”Friends”) and the Khademin were charged with oversight of the internal affairs of the Baha’i faith-community, managing such affairs as arranging for worship services, sending letters of introduction for traveling Baha’is, recording marriages, handling divorces, assisting with burials, and so forth.

In 2009 – nearly three decades after the Baha’i administration was formally dissolved — Ayatollah Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi, Attorney General of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran’s Prosecutor General, wrote an official letter to the Minister of Intelligence, Ghulam-Husayn Ejeyee (Letter of Iran’s Attorney-General to the Minister of Intelligence - Iran Press Watch). The Attorney General declared, any and all expressions of affiliation with the Baha’i Faithto be illegal, thus banning the Yaran and the Khademin. This is all the more ironic, considering the fact that the Iranian regime had tolerated the existence of the Yaran and Khademin for a quite a number of years.

In a recent update, Iran Press Watch reported:

The activities of the “Friends” were completely transparent and were devoid of any hidden agenda. Incidentally, during this period, a particular office was designated in the Ministry of Intelligence to follow the activities of the Baha’is. This office would contact the “Friends” directly with any questions about a specific activity. Even Ayatollah Dorri Najafabadi, Iran’s chief prosecutor, has referred to this close monitoring. (Iran Press Watch, “Update on the Current Condition of the Seven Detained Baha’i Leaders” (2009).)

The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is replete with human rights slogans. Yet these are all conditioned on “conformity with Islamic criteria” — which can effectively trump any of the constitutional guarantees enshrined in this duplicitous document, to wit:

Article 19 proclaims: “All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they belong, enjoy equal rights; and color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any privilege.” Except for the Baha’is.

Article 20 declares: “All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.” Except for the Baha’is.

Article 23 stipulates: “The investigation of individuals’ beliefs is forbidden, and no one may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.” Except for the Baha’is.

Article 26 announces: “Political parties, societies, political and craft associations, and Islamic or recognized minority religious associations may be freely brought into being, provided that no violation is involved of the principles of independence, freedom, national unity, Islamic standards, and the foundations of the Islamic Republic.” Except for the Baha’is, who are not not members of one of the “recognized minority religious associations” and are therefore excluded.

Article 28 promises: “Every person is entitled to choose the employment he wishes, so long as it is not contrary to Islam or the public interest or the rights of others. The Government is bound, with due regard for the needs of society for a variety of employment for all men, to create the possibility of employment, and equal opportunities for obtaining it.” Except for the Baha’is.

Article 29 avers: “Every person is entitled to the enjoyment of Social Security. This covers retirement, unemployment, old age, being laid off, being without a guardian, casual misfortune, accidents, and occurrences giving rise to the need for health services and medical care and treatment, through insurance etc. The Government is bound, in accordance with the laws, to use public revenues and the revenue drawn from individual contributions to provide the services and financial support mentioned above for every individual in the country.” Except for the Baha’is.

Article 30 states: “The Government is bound to make available, free of charge, educational facilities for all up to the close of the secondary stage, and to expand free facilities for higher education up to the limits of the country’s own capacity.” Except for the Baha’is.

Article 32 commands: “No person may be arrested except according to and in the manner laid down in the law. If someone is detained, the subject matter of the charge, with reasons (for bringing it), must immediately be communicated and explained in writing to the accused. Within at most 24 hours the file on the case and preliminary documentation must be referred to the competent legal authority. Legal procedures must be initiated as early as possible. Anyone infringing this principle will be punished in accordance with the law.” Except for the Baha’is.

Sadly, the Yaran have languished in the notorious Evin prison for well over nine months now, without access to their celebrated defense counsel, 1993 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Shirin Ebadi, who has been denied access not only to her clients, but to their files. Judging from remarks by Ayatollah Dorri-Najafabadi, the Yaran are presumed guilty rather than presumed innocent, as required by Article 37 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran:

“Innocence is the basic principle. No person is considered legally guilty, except in cases where his guilt is established in a competent court.” Except for the Baha’is. Except for the Yaran.

Article 38 decrees: “Any kind of torture used to extract an admission of guilt or to obtain information is forbidden. Compelling people to give evidence, or confess or take an oath is not allowed. Such evidence or confession or oath is null and void. Any person infringing this principle is to be punished in accordance with the law.” Except for the Baha’is. Except for the Yaran.

The Iranian regime’s treatment of its Baha’i citizens arguably violates a number of fundamental rights ostensibly enshrined in the Iranian Constitution. While Iran’s persecution of the Baha’i religion is certainly the most egregious aggregated breach of constitutional guarantees and of international human rights standards, the Baha’is are no means alone. In the Report of the Secretary-General on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (October 2008), par. 59 reports the following.....see the artilce at Iran Press Watch for the rest of this analaysis.-Ron Price, Tasmania
 
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GI Joe

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

You've got that one right, Goshin. In my 50++ years as a Baha'i the main source of any publicity, of increased awareness of the history and teachings of this new world religion, in the internaitonal arena occurs when the Baha'is in iran are getting "hit hard."--Ron Price, Australia




I have visited the Baha'i Center in Haifa. What an absolutely beautiful place it is.
 

RonPrice

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

You can see some of the photos and movies of the Baha'i World Centre at:

BahaiPictures.com - Pictures of the Bahai Holy Places in Israel
Photographs of Bahai properties in Haifa, Israel. Multiple sets depicting the Terraces, Bahai Gardens, and Shrines.
www.bahaipictures.com/ - Cached - Similar


Ron Price
Tasmania
 
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Mika-El

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

I have visited the Baha'i Center in Haifa. What an absolutely beautiful place it is.

Me too GI.
 

RonPrice

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Re: UN General Assembly today sharply criticized Iran for its violation of human righ

Indeed, Whovian, indeed. In my two trips to Haifa I was, of course, impressed with the Baha'i gardens. I also noticed that the city itself was becoming more attractive as the years went on, as the new millennium went from year to year. Being the industrial city that it is, it has to work hard to keep clean. All the way to Akka, a half hour drive from Haifa, industrial, residential and commercial development gave me the feeling of endless congestion. I got a book on the development of the city in the last 500 years: what a transformation! But so is this true around the world. We have been a busy species since Columbus.-Ron
 
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