Bookmark and Share

Iran: Guardian Council turns down Majlis bills on women's rights, torture ban


The Guardian Council (GC) on Tuesday rejected the Majlis bill on Iran's joining a UN convention on women's rights as well as a motion to ban torture for discrepancies against the Constitution and the Sharia law of Islam, IRNA reported from Tehran.

GC Spokesman Ebrahim Azizi told IRNA that the Majlis bill on Iran's joining the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) contradicted the Sharia law in Clause A of its single article.

"The bill has not determined the authority to recognize [discriminations against women] so that any comments could be made on that," Azizi said.

He added that the convention in many cases is against the Sharia, and that the signatory parties are obliged to fully implement its contents that involve those cases.

"Once Iran signs the convention, it will be obliged to accept its contents in cases that are against Islamic rulings. Therefore, the council voted the bill as against the Sharia," Azizi said.

The GC spokesman also said that the council had rejected the Majlis motion on Iran's joining the convention on banning torture, arguing that it contradicted the Constitution and would increase public expenditure.

"It is not clear why the Majlis has presented the measure as a motion considering the contents of articles 77 and 125 of the Constitution," Azizi said.

"Iran's joining the convention through the proposed plan in many cases would increase public expenditure while no suggestion has been made on how the new expenditure would be compensated and this is against Article 75 of the Constitution."

The Majlis last year approved a motion to ban physical harassment of inmates "in whatever form".

The motion also bans blindfolding inmates, interrogating them late at night, keeping the inmate awake, insulting them and putting them under psychological pressure.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Azizi further said that the Majlis had failed to amend the discrepancies with the Constitution in an already rejected bill on the electoral law, as advised by the GC, adding that the MPs had in certain cases even increased those discrepancies.

"The Majlis has in some cases removed the discrepancies, but has in several other cases increased them or failed to change certain others," Azizi said.

"The GC accordingly returned the bill to the chamber for amendment."

The bill on amending the electoral law has been basically drawn up to address the GC's prerogative of Approbatory Supervision, which enables the council to disqualify candidates, whom it considers as unfit for state posts from running in elections.

The government has cited the bill as aiming to increase people's participation in elections and reduce wanton disqualification of elections hopefuls.

The GC spokesman further stressed that the council had also approved seven Majlis bills the most important of which was a bill to legalize embryo donations to infertile spouses.

© Copyright 2003 (All Rights Reserved)