In its 76th session, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution condemning the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses. Passed with 78 affirmative votes, this is the 68th UN resolution on the human rights situation in Iran since the mullahs rose to power in 1979.
The resolution expresses serious concern at the “alarmingly high frequency of the imposition and carrying-out of the death penalty,” “widespread and systematic use of arbitrary arrests and detentions,” “deliberately denying prisoners access to adequate medical treatment and supplies,” and “appalling acts committed by prison guards at Evin prison,” “harassment, intimidation, and persecution, including abductions, arrests, and executions, of political opponents, human rights defenders,” and “arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment against peaceful protesters,” and “the use of torture to extract confessions, and cases of suspicious deaths in custody.”
The resolution reiterates “the importance of credible, independent and impartial investigations in response to all cases of serious human rights violations…including enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions, and destruction of evidence in relation to such violations.”
The resolution UNGA also calls for an end to “impunity for such violations.”
The resolution comes at a time that the world is becoming more aware of flagrant human rights abuses in Iran. An ongoing court in Sweden is putting the spotlight on the massacre of 30,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988. The regime’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, is known for his role in the 1988 massacre and other atrocities against dissidents and ordinary Iranians, which has caused concern among human rights organizations and activists across the globe.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), welcomed the UNGA resolution and said: “While this resolution reflects only a small portion of the crimes of the ruling religious fascism in Iran, it, nevertheless, proves that this regime has always been the leading human rights violator in the world.”
Mrs. Rajavi called for the UN Security Council to address four decades of crimes against humanity and genocide committed by the Iranian regime, “especially the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, mostly the members and supporters of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI), and the massacre of 1,500 demonstrators in 2019”
She also stressed that the leaders of the regime, above all, Ali Khamenei, Ebrahim Raisi, and the Judiciary Chief, Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’I, must be prosecuted in an International Court. “The international community must shun this regime and end impunity for its criminal leaders,” she said.
In response to the UNGA resolution, Kazem Gharibabadi, the secretary of the so-called “human rights staff” of the regime’s Judiciary, said, “This subject has no basis and is far from the truth… The constitution of the Islamic Republic not only bans the use of torture but also bans the extraction of confessions through torture.”
It is worth noting that there have been multiple confirmed reports of prisoners being tortured in prisons and forced to make incriminating confessions against themselves. Many of these prisoners have been executed based on these forced confessions.
Gharibabadi also defended the alarming rate of executions in Iran and said, “The resolution criticizes the volume of executions in Iran. But you must take note that the prohibition of execution is a Western notion. If Western countries have abolished the capital punishment, does it mean that all other countries must follow suit and it must become a global standard?”
Gharibabadi also confirmed and stood by the regime’s record number of execution of juvenile offenders. “Another topic discussed in this resolution is the death penalty for people under 18 years of age,” he said. “You must take note that there is no international obligation that people under 18 should not sentenced to death. One of the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that the age of children is 18 unless the national law of other countries state otherwise.”