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Afshari's father to file complaint against Judiciary

According to reports by IRNA from Tehran, Naqi Afshari, father of the jailed student political activist Ali Afshari, has said that he would soon file a complaint with the Majlis Article 90 Commission against the Judiciary, the press reported here on Tuesday.

The Persian-language daily `Aftab-e Yazd' quoted Afshari as saying that the complaint was related to the presence of a prison official in a Monday meeting with his son after he had been transferred to the public block in Evin.

"They [the prison officials] did not let us talk to each other in private," he said. "That is the reason why I am objecting as I consider this as an insult."

Afshari further voiced regret that the rights of his son had been violated, stressing that he would lodge the complaint with the Majlis commission soon.

Ali Afshari, the former head of the student group of the Office to Foster Unity (OFU), has been in detention since April 2000 for participating in a controversial Berlin conference, denounced as anti-revolutionary in the Islamic Republic as well as other charges.

He received a fresh one-year prison term in January following a complaint lodged by the former police chief.

Eshraqi's lawyer says clerics court rejected his attorney power

Lawyer of journalist Alireza Eshraqi, who was recently bailed out of jail, said on Monday that the Special Court for the Clergy had not accepted his power of attorney to defend his client.

Shirzad Heidari Shahbaz said the court had rejected his power of attorney because he had not been a cleric, stressing that he would therefore take charge of Eshraqi's case once it is referred to the public court.

He said the Special Court for the Clergy was constitutionally authorized to probe Eshraqi's case under Article 31 of the Law for Prosecutor's Office and the Clergy Court on offenses perpetrated by the accomplices of the clerics.

Still, the lawyer added, Article 528 of Iran's Civil Code implicitly rejects the authority of that court to probe charges against non-clerics.

Eshraqi, a member of the editorial board of the Persian-language newspaper `Hayat-E No', was arrested by the order of the Special Court for Clergy in January following a controversial cartoon he used in an article.

The court accordingly suspended the Hayat-E No even though its publisher Hojjatoleslam Hadi Khamenei, a cleric, repeatedly had said that the cartoon was related to a power struggle 65 years ago between the then US president and the US judiciary.

Eshraqi was released Sunday evening on a bail of 250 million rials (Dlrs 31,250 dollars) after spending 58 days behind the bars.

Shahbaz further stressed that he had not attended any of the investigations against his client, stressing that he was not informed of the contents of the case.

Meanwhile, Eshraqi told reporters yesterday that he had spent 53 days in single-cell confinement in the Block 209 of Tehran's Evin Prison.

He told IRNA that he had repeatedly objected to his interrogators over the continuation of his solitary confinement, and stressed that he had even written two letters to the judge presiding over his case and the prosecutor's assistant in that connection.

Eshraqi, however, added that this had no avail, and that he had received no reply.

He said he was not informed of the date of his trial, adding that the Special Court for the Clergy was probing the charges against him.

He rejected the accusations brought up against him, stressing that the cartoon had not been printed intentionally in the daily.

"I have told [the interrogators] that printing the cartoon was a mistake, and the mental element in committing the offense is absent in the case because the text surrounding the cartoon shows that there has been no intention for printing the cartoon," Eshraqi said.

"The cartoon had been used to illustrate a social item in which no reference has been made to Imam Khomeini," he said. "Therefore, the evidences clearly show that the cartoon had not been printed on purpose."

... Payvand News - 3/11/03 ... --

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