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IRD Calls on Churches to Condemn Iran's Election to United Nations Commission on Women

"Placing a serial human rights abuser like Iran on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women makes a mockery of the concept of women's rights." -- Faith J.H. McDonnell, IRD Religious Liberty Program Director

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell

WASHINGTON, May 6 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Institute on Religion and Democracy has joined with international human rights and women's rights leaders in a nationwide campaign to urge Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to denounce the recent election of Iran to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.

In an Open Letter to Secretary Clinton released this week, the leaders expressed their deep concern that Iran was "elected by acclamation" to the women's rights seat. Election by acclamation may occur when no United Nations member state requests an open vote. The signatories, citing reports by the U.S. State Department and international human rights organizations of the Iranian regime's record of human rights violations, are seeking answers from Secretary Clinton regarding the failure of the U.S. either to request or require an open vote on Iran's election to the Commission.

The full letter and a list of signatories can be viewed at the IRD web site: www.theird.org/Page.aspx?pid=1472

IRD Religious Liberty Program Director Faith J.H. McDonnell commented:

    "The IRD specifically calls upon churches to exert their influence with Secretary Clinton. As Christians, we are called to stand up for 'the least of these'. Placing a serial human rights abuser like Iran on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women makes a mockery of makes a mockery of the concept of women's rights.

    "As an egregious violator of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Iran is completely inappropriate to serve on the Commission. That Iran was elected to a four year term by acclamation is nothing short of a scandal -- one that churches cannot ignore.

    "By placing Iran on this commission, the members of the United Nations either reveal that they view the commission to be of no value to begin with, or worse, they view Iran’s actions as acceptable."
 
The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches' social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.

www.TheIRD.org