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Iran's Parliament to debate Guardian Council's rejection of anti-torture convention

The Parliament Commission on Legal and Judicial Affairs will debate a bill on Sunday which obliges the government to join the Convention banning torture, IRNA reported from Tehran.

The parliament has already passed the bill in line with Article 38 of the Constitution known as anti-torture article.

The Guardian Council has turned down the bill for some considerations which will be discussed in the meeting of the specialized commission to satisfy the body to approve the bill.

The parliament in March 2003 decided to accede to the Convention against Torture.

The MPs said that Article 38 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic prohibits torture and the international convention is in conformity with the Iranian Constitution.

The MPs said that as the first step, Iran would make reservation about the special commitment envisaged in Article 20 of the Convention which looks into allegations it receives about torture.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Convention against Torture and other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment on December 10, 1984 which went into force on June 26, 1987 and is binding on all member states.

Article 20 of the Convention against Torture provides for the Committee against Torture (CAT) to receive and consider in a confidential procedure well-founded allegations of the systematic practice of torture in countries which are parties to the Convention. If there are reliable indications that the allegations are true, CAT invites the state party concerned to cooperate in its examination and to respond to the allegations.

CAT may designate one or more of its members to undertake this confidential inquiry which may include a visit to the country concerned.

The Article 28 of the convention stipulates that each state, may, at the time of signature or ratification of the convention, declare that it doesn't recognize competence of the committee envisioned in Article 20.

According to paragraph 2 of the Article 28, any state party having made a reservation in accordance with paragraph 1 of Article 28 may, at any time, withdraw its reservation by notifying the UN secretary general.

Some 132 countries including 24 Islamic states have joined the Convention.

Meanwhile, in 1979 the United Nations adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The new optional protocol to CEDAW will allow women who have suffered discrimination (in signatory states) to take their case to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Some 165 of the UN's 188 member states have ratified this convention and are therefore obliged to take all necessary steps to eliminate discrimination against women.

And 23 states have so far signed the Optional Protocol. No state has yet to realize fully the provisions of the Women's Convention.

... Payvand News - 3/6/04 ... --

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