Vienna, 27 December 2010 – “The new resolution on human rights in Iran, adopted by the UN General Assembly, insistently reiterates the call by the international community for Iran to respect its international human rights obligations”, stated Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, expressing satisfaction at the result of the vote taken by the UN General Assembly in New York. In this Resolution, which was adopted on 21 December with 78 votes in favour to 45 votes against and 59 abstentions, the international community condemns the human rights situation in Iran.
“The Resolution, which was co-sponsored by Austria, expresses our growing concern about the increasing number of death sentences and the violent actions taken by Iran against religious minorities, such as the severe prison sentences recently imposed on seven leading members of the Behá’i faith. This Resolution also condemns the increasing repression of human rights defenders such as the lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and the Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi, political opponents such as former Foreign Minister Ebrahim Yazdi, and journalists”, continued Spindelegger.
Austria and the EU also provide regular support to individuals: Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, for instance, appealed to the Iranian authorities for the immediate release of the two detained US backpackers Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal so that they can return to their families in the United States. They were arrested in August 2009 on the border with Iraq and have been imprisoned in Iran ever since.
“We shall continue to express our unequivocal criticism regarding human rights in the future. The Iranian government must comply with the commitments contained in international agreements on fundamental freedoms and human rights. No compromises are possible in this area”, concluded the Foreign Minister.
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