Sunday, November 22, 2009

Second sight, two

Another quick visit of an old item with relevant recent news.

Last summer, I commented on the protests following what appeared to be a rigged election in Iran. Now, the UN has chimed in.
The U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee condemned Iran on Friday for a violent crackdown on protesters after presidential elections this year that the Iranian opposition says were rigged. ...

The 192-nation assembly's Third Committee, which focuses on human rights, approved the nonbinding resolution 74-48, with 59 abstentions.
The resolution focused
"particular concern at the response of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the Presidential election of 12 June 2009 and the concurrent rise in human rights violations."

Among those violations were "harassment, intimidation and persecution, including by arbitrary arrest, detention or disappearance, of opposition members, journalists and other media representatives, bloggers, lawyers, clerics, human rights defenders, academics, (and) students."

The result, it said, has been "numerous deaths and injuries." It also condemned reports of "forced confessions and abuse of prisoners including ... rape and torture."
No real consequences are expected to arise from the report, which the Reuters article says has become "an annual ritual in recent years" (along with similar condemnations of North Korea and Myanmar - or, if you're an opponent of the military regime, Burma), because among the "no" votes were Iran defenders Russia and China, both of which have veto power in the Security Council. Still, for the little it's worth, the moral force of such a condemnation, even as it's unlikely to move the reactionary mullahs who retain the real political power in Iran, might bring some encouragement to those Iranians who still hope for cultural freedom and a real, honest, vote.

Footnote: The Iranian delegate condemned resolution co-sponsors Canada and Israel, accusing the former of "systematic violations of human rights including discriminatory policies ... against Aborigines, migrants and minorities" and the latter of "the worst forms of human rights violations, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, crimes against humanity and terrorism."

Which just goes to show yet again that even if it is the pot that is calling the kettle black, that doesn't mean the kettle isn't black.

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