UN Authority Figures

UN General Assembly Vice-President: Iran
Term begins September 13, 2011

Women's rights activist missing in Iran
Maryam Majd, a photojournalist and women's rights activist, campaigns for female football fans to be allowed to watch matches in stadiums. Friends fear she was arrested before bording a plane for Germany. (Guardian, June 22, 2011.)

Mission of the General Assembly:
"Article 13. The General Assembly shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of:
    a. promoting international co-operation in the political field and encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification; b. promoting international co-operation in the economic, social, cultural, educational, and health fields, and assisting in the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion." ("UN Charter")

Term of office: 2011-2012

Iran's Record on "the realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion":
"The government severely limited citizens' right to peacefully change their government through free and fair elections, and it continued a campaign of postelection violence and intimidation. Security forces under the government's control committed acts of politically motivated violence and repression, including torture, beatings, and rape. The government administered severe officially sanctioned punishments, including amputation and flogging...Common methods of torture and abuse in prisons included prolonged solitary confinement with extreme sensory deprivation (sometimes called "white torture"), beatings, rape and sexual humiliation, long confinement in contorted positions, kicking detainees with military boots, hanging detainees by the arms and legs, threats of execution, burning with cigarettes, pulling out toenails, sleep deprivation, and severe and repeated beatings with cables or other instruments on the back and on the soles of the feet. To intensify abuse, perpetrators reportedly soaked prisoners before beating them with electric cables, and there were some reports of electric shocks to sexual organs. Prisoners also reported beatings on the ears, inducing partial or complete deafness; blows in the area around the eyes, leading to partial or complete blindness; and the use of poison to induce illness...Authorities held political prisoners and continued to crack down on women's rights activists, ethnic minority rights activists, student activists, and religious minorities...The government's anti-Israel stance, in particular the president's repeated speeches decrying the existence of Israel and calling for the destruction of its "Zionist regime," created a threatening atmosphere for the 25,000-person Jewish community. Government officials continued to make anti-Semitic statements, organize events during the year designed to deny the Holocaust, and sanction anti-Semitic propaganda...The law prohibits and punishes homosexual conduct; sodomy between consenting adults is a capital crime...Spousal rape is not illegal...four male witnesses or a combination of three male and two female witnesses are required for [rape] conviction...The law does not specifically prohibit domestic violence... The law permits a man to kill his adulterous wife and her consorts if he is certain she consented. Women convicted of adultery may also be sentenced to death, including by stoning...A woman has the right to divorce only if her husband signs a contract granting that right, cannot provide for his family, or is a drug addict, insane, or impotent. A husband was not required to cite a reason for divorcing his wife...Women must ride in a reserved section on public buses and enter public buildings, universities, and airports through separate entrances. The penal code provides that a woman who appears in public without an appropriate hijab can be sentenced to lashings and fined." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2010, Iran)