Friday, October 26, 2007

Europe condemns Iran over human rights abuses

EU Parliament passes bill with vast majority in favor of criticizing Tehran for death penalty, persecution of journalists, homosexuals, and human rights activists. Israeli ambassador to EU: Resolution doesn't have teeth, but it helps build European consensus against Iran In another diplomatic blow to Iran's international standing, the European Union Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly voted to pass a motion condemning Iran for human rights abuses including torture and the persecution of homosexuals and journalists.

The motion said that the parliament "expresses its concern with the deterioration in the state of human rights in the last few years. (The Parliament) appeals to the Iranian authorities to respect their commitments to international human rights standards… (The Parliament) severely condemns the practice of stoning and seeks reforms in the methods used for punishment and a cease of the practice of stoning."

Human Rights

Iran hits back at Canada at UN rights forum / Reuters

Tehran accuses Ottawa of racism, police brutality and treating its indigenous people like second class citizens
Full story

The decision was not an Israeli initiative, but comes at a time of considerable change in European attitude towards Iran which Israel has actively encouraged.

Ran Koriel, Israel's ambassador to the EU, told Ynet that "this four-page resolution is a charge-sheet against Iranian human rights practices. This decision refers to human rights and is not only limited to the nuclear program, regional instability or Holocaust denial because there is mechanism that allows human rights motions to be passed in a expedited manner."

Koriel explained that "this decision enumerates Iranian crimes: The death penalty—this year over 200 people (were put to death)—and the manner: stoning, public hangings, death sentences for journalists, human right activists and homosexuals. This is in addition to the oppression of religion, public opinion, journalists and more and it is mentions the names of those who are imprisoned in order to gain their release."

Building consensus in Europe
The motion does not carry the threat of action but it does help shape the public consensus on the matter in Europe and may help the passing of future sanctions against Iran.

"On the operational side, there aren't teeth," Koriel said. "It is mostly directed towards the UN, to strongly condemn Iran and to take steps to halt the death penalty. This is an important decision and it was well received by all parties in the Parliament. It is safe to say that this is part of consensus-building in Europe on the character of the Iran regime."

Koriel was skeptical that this represented a victory for Israel, but he promised that Israel would work to get a resolution passed in the EU on the Iranian nuclear program.
Comment: Wait and watch for Iran's response-it will inclde counter charges-thus takingfocus off of them.

No comments: