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Iran: Human Rights activist deplores GC failure to ratify ban on torture

Secretary of the Islamic Human Rights Commission Mohammad Hassan Ziaeifar said on Tuesday that the Guardian Council's failure to ratify the Majlis legislation concerning ban on torture has had negative consequences for Iran in the international organizations, IRNA reported from Tehran.

He said that the sixth parliament had passed a legislation to ban torture and had voted for Iran's accession to the Convention on Banning Torture, but, the Guardian Council did not ratify the legislation and Majlis forwarded the legislation to the Expediency Council.

"The Articles 38 and 39 of the Constitution has banned torture under whatever pretext, but, it's not clear why the Guardian Council doesn't ratify the legislation to that effect," Ziaeifar said.

He said that death of photojournalist Zahra Kazemi and the claims of former prisoners indicated that the constitutional ban on torture is not being respected and the Guardian Council has obstructed the Majlis resolve to put an end to torture in the detention centers.

President Mohammad Khatami won a landslide victory in 1997 presidential election against the conservative rival for promising to enforce the constitutional rights of the people -- freedom of expression in the context of the Constitution -- constitutional ban on torture and respect for dignity of the people.

The president enjoyed the same public support in 2001 presidential election for the national resolve to help bring about reform in Iranian governing system in line with the Constitution of the Islamic Republic.

The reform movement also gained momentum in the year 2000, when the reformist candidates unseated the conservatives from the parliament promising to uphold the constitutional rights of the people.

The Guardian Council's rejection of the Majlis legislation blocked the reform movement depriving the people to attain their constitutional rights enshrined in the constitution.

In the meantime, the Constitution has envisaged amendment to the national treaty when implementing the constitutional provisions faces difficulty for whatever reason.

Since the public and the Guardian Council have currently developed a misunderstanding to the extent that the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei has intervened twice on a single case of election campaign, the necessity is rising for the senior statesmen to contemplate on amendment to the Constitution, because the young generation could not stand the same scenario after four years once again.

... Payvand News - 1/28/04 ... --

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