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Iran Disputes New UN Report On Abuses, Executions

October 20, 2011

Iran's government is disputing a report by the new United Nations investigator for Iran that says human rights abuses in that country appear to be increasing.

The UN special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed, said in his first report to the UN General Assembly that more than 200 officially announced executions had taken place in Iran so far in 2011, including 83 in January alone.

Iranian Deputy UN Ambassador Eshagh al-Habib dismissed the findings as the result of manipulations by the United States and its European allies.

"By not reflecting faithfully the actual situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran [but] rather assembling a catalogue of poorly researched, exaggerated, and outdated allegations, the presentation of this report we believe is a very conspicuous manipulation of the United Nations human rights system and its content is absolutely unjustified, unwarranted, and unacceptable for my country," Habib said.

The Iranian envoy called on the United States and Britain to address their own human rights shortcomings.

In his report, Shaheed said Iranian authorities reportedly conducted more than 300 secret executions at the Vakilabad prison in 2010, without the knowledge or presence of the detainees' families or lawyers.

"I was also concerned by reports of multifarious and systemic deficits in the administration of justice, including certain practices that amount to torture, cruel or degrading treatment of detainees, the imposition of the death penalty in the absence of proper judicial safeguards, the denial of reasonable access to legal counsel and adequate medical treatment, the existence of widespread use of both secret and public executions, the employment of capital punishment in juvenile cases and the application of capital punishment in cases that do not hold up to the level of serious crimes by international standards, such as narcotics cases," Shaheed said.

Shaheed, who is from the Maldives, added that the Iranian government had not allowed him to visit Iran while making his assessment.

compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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