The U.N. Human Rights Commission has denounced rights abuses by Iran but failed to take similar action against Iraq, which stands accused of using chemical weapons, executing people without trial and torturing children.
A resolution proposed by 13 Western nations on Wednesday condemned "reliable reports of mass extra-judicial executions" in Iraq and reports that unarmed ethnic Kurds had been ordered killed.But Iraq proposed a motion that no action be taken on the resolution. That motion was approved by 17 Third World nations and opposed by 11 Western nations, plus Togo and Peru.
Nine Third World countries and the Soviet bloc abstained.
Human rights groups have accused Iraqi authorities of using chemical weapons against Iraq's Kurdish minority and ordering mass executions.
Last week, the London-based human rights group Amnesty International accused Iraq of torturing the children of enemies of the government to punish and extract confessions.
Amnesty International said in a statement that it was "deeply disturbed" by the outcome of the Iraq vote, which it said "seemed irreconcilable with a genuine commitment to bring a a halt to human rights violations in Iraq."
The commission did criticize Iran, voting 20-6 to adopt a resolution citing "continued reports of grave and persistent violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
The resolution, sponsored by 13 Western nations, listed reports of a "wave of summary executions" in the second half of 1988 and "numerous reports of ill-treatment and torture" of detainees.
Voting in favor were all Western members of the 43-nation panel as well as Iraq, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Rwanda and Venezuela.
Sri Lanka, Somalia, Ethiopia, Cuba, Bangladesh, and Pakistan cast opposing votes. Twelve Third World countries abstained, and all four Soviet bloc members did not participate in the vote.
The commission also approved a resolution expressing "dismay at continued acts of extreme violence from all sources in Chile" and "concern at the persistence of serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms."
But it also noted that the government has respected the outcome of the Oct. 5 referendum, in which an overwhelming majority of citizens voted against continued rule by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.