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UN rapporteur, Tehran's prosecutor discuss legal proceedings in Iran

UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression Ambeyi Ligabo and Tehran's Prosecutor of the Public and Revolutionary Courts Saeed Mortazavi on Wednesday discussed the legal proceedings in the Islamic Republic, IRNA reported from Tehran.

During the two-hour meeting, Mortazavi responded to all the questions raised by the UN rapporteur on the legal proceedings and judicial affairs.

Mortazavi commented on the functions and performance of Iran's judicial apparatus and the proceedings of the press offenses. The primary investigations are often conducted by the magistrates and the prosecutors deal with the file cases independently, Mortazavi told his visitor.

In the press courts, every file case is viewed and examined by at least two judges.

He said the press offenses are being handed in the penal courts and the court sessions are normally attended by a jury of three judges.

He said the trial of the managing directors and license holders of periodicals and newspapers is conducted very carefully as the laws on the press offenses have been reformed by the Judiciary.

Court procedures held for the press circles are like those for the suspected high-level officials including ministers, presidential advisors and governors, he explained.

Ligabo raised questions on the human rights, press freedoms and the clauses of the constitution.

The prosecutor said the limits of the freedom are determined even in the declaration on the human rights and there is not unrestricted freedoms in this document.

He said while in West the government put economic and psychological pressures on the periodicals and press circles, the press offenses are being dealt in full transparency and fairness in Iran's Islamic system.

Earlier in the day Ligabo held talks with Iran's Head of Article 90 Commission of the Parliament Hossein Ansari-Rad on the need to respect human rights.

Ansari-Rad said the Islamic and Quranic teachings recommend respect for human rights and freedom of expression. He appreciated the efforts being made by the United Nations to promote such concepts.

Elaborating on the process of democracy in Iran, Ansari-Rad said that President Mohammad Khatami has ushered in reform program and the majority of the representatives of the people in the parliament advocate democracy and that the Article 90 Commission of the parliament concentrated all its efforts on reinforcing human rights of the citizens.

The UN official appreciated the efforts of the Islamic Human Rights Commission and the Article 90 of the Commission of the Parliament and called for closer cooperation of national human rights organs with the UNited Nations Human Rights Commission.

Ligabo said he was satisfied with his negotiations with Iranian officials in Tehran adding that the UN Human Rights Commission has not made substantial allegation against the Islamic Republic's human rights record.

... Payvand News - 11/06/03 ... --

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