Shoes sitting on grate with red flowers stuck into them (© Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto/Getty Images)
A memorial highlighting the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran sat in front of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on September 15, 2017. (© Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto/Getty Images)

The United Nations on December 17 rebuked Iran for its long-standing violations of human rights and called on the country to ensure “that no one is subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

That was among several recommendations contained in a resolution that members of the U.N. General Assembly adopted regarding the “Situation of Human Rights in Iran.

The vote of the 193-member General Assembly was 84 in favor to 30 against with 67 abstaining.

The resolution admonished the regime’s “harassment, intimidation, persecution, arbitrary arrests and detention” of ethnic and religious minorities, including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Ahwazis, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Bahá’í faith.

The body also condemned Iran for its “alarmingly high” use of the death penalty “against persons on the basis of forced confessions,” for crimes that do not qualify as “most serious,” and in the execution of juveniles.

A regime of harassment, intimidation and persecution

Chart showing activities that can be crimes in Iran (State Dept.)

Other human rights violations that the resolution urges Iran to end include:

  • “Widespread and serious restrictions” on freedom of speech and freedom of peaceful assembly.
  • All forms of discrimination and other human rights violations against women and girls.
  • The poor conditions of prisons and the practice of deliberately denying prisoners access to adequate medical treatment.
  • Widespread and systematic use of arbitrary detention, especially for dual and foreign nationals.

Empty promises

The Iranian regime has a long and well-documented history of committing serious human rights abuses over the past four decades, as well as doing little to improve their record.

Since 1985, the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has passed 31 resolutions calling on the regime to improve its human rights record, and has received pledges from Iranian leaders indicating they will implement the recommended reforms.

The 2018 resolution once again calls on Iran “to translate the pledges made by the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran with respect to human rights concerns into concrete action that results in demonstrable improvements as soon as possible.”

State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said the resolution, once again, draws the world’s attention “to the Iranian regime’s sickening human rights record.”