United Nations

UN again expresses concern over human rights in Iran

UNITED NATIONS - For the 14th time in 15 years, the United Nations General Assembly has expressed "concern" over human rights violations in Iran, specifically mentioning the "unabated pattern of persecution" against Iran's Bahá'í community.

By a vote of 61 to 47, the General Assembly on 17 December 1999 passed a resolution calling on the Islamic Republic of Iran to abide by international human rights covenants and "to ensure that all individuals within its territory" including "religious minorities," "enjoy the rights enshrined in those instruments."

The 17-paragraph resolution took note of the Iranian Government's "efforts towards strengthening democracy" and promoting the "rule of law." However, the resolution also called for a continuing examination of human rights in Iran, "including the situation of minority groups, such as the Bahá'ís…"

In related news, the Bahá'í International Community learned on 14 December 1999 that the death sentences against two Bahá'ís in Iran are being commuted. According to reliable reports, the death sentence against Dhabi'u'llah Mahrami has been commuted to life imprisonment and the sentence against Musa Talibi is in the process of being commuted. Four Bahá'ís remain under death sentence in Iran.

The Community also learned in late December that three Bahá'ís, who had been arrested by the Iranian Government in the autumn of 1998 in connection with raids against the Bahá'í Institute of Higher Education, have been released.