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Judiciary rejects Iran visit of special reporters on human rights

Tehran, Jan 20, IRNA -- A Judiciary official has rejected the reports that a group of special reporters on human rights will soon travel to the Islamic Republic and visit the Evin prison, the press reported here on Monday.

The Persian-language `Qods' quoted Shariat Baqeri, the director of the Judiciary's International Relations Department, as saying that there has been no special reporter on Iran since last year "when a UN human rights resolution against Iran failed."

"Ever since the mission of Maurice Copithorne, the previous Special Reporter of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Iran was cancelled, there has been no such a reporter investigating human rights issues in the Islamic Republic," he said.

Baqeri said several independent groups had asked the Judiciary to arrange visits to probe alledged unauthorized, or illegal detention cases in the Islamic Republic, stressing that they will travel to Iran once the Judiciary sets the dates for their visits.

Still, he rejected the reports that the group of special reporters would travel to Iran to visit the prisons.

"The Iranian Foreign Ministry and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in 1999 had agreed to arrange a visit by a delegation from the office to Iran to study mutual technical and counseling cooperation," Baqeri said.

The delegation, he added, was to study the ways to remove technical problems of jails and correction centers so that Iran might be able to receive a loan from the UN Fund to the effect.

"Considering that at the time a resolution on human rights had been issued against Iran, the delegation put off any follow-up of the case to a visit by the UN special reporter, and this has not yet proceeded," the Judiciary official added.

... Payvand News - 1/20/03 ... --

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