Reuters: Canada will put forward a resolution at the United Nations for the third year in a row accusing Iran of human
rights violations, Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew said on Wednesday. Reuters
OTTAWA – Canada will put forward a resolution at the United Nations for the third year in a row accusing Iran of human rights violations, Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew said on Wednesday.
“Iran has not lived up to its international human rights obligations and has not conformed with past U.N. resolutions on this matter. We believe this must change,” Pettigrew said.
Canada presented similar resolutions to the United Nations in both 2003 and 2004. The U.N.’s General Assembly adopted the 2004 resolution with 71 votes in favor, 54 against and 55 abstentions.
The previous resolutions accused Iran of human rights abuses, including torture, suppression of free speech and discrimination against women and minorities.
“We have to maintain the pressure. I can tell you one thing — Iran has not enjoyed the last two resolutions we tabled,” Pettigrew told reporters.
“It is very important that the international community … keeps the pressure on Iran at this stage for them to really, really acknowledge the situation of human rights abuses in the country and really try to change the situation.”
Pettigrew said Canada was still discussing with its allies the text of the resolution, which officials said was likely to be presented at the end of October.
Canada and Iran are at loggerheads over the case of Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian reporter who died of head injuries in 2003 after being arrested in Tehran. Canada has twice withdrawn its ambassador over the affair and accuses Iranian authorities of failing to investigate the death properly.
Iran’s conservative judiciary initially said Kazemi had died of a stroke but an investigation by the government revealed she had received a heavy blow during questioning which caused a brain hemorrhage.