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Iran's Parliament welcomes Judiciary circular banning torture

Tehran, May 1, IRNA -- The parliament welcomed the circular issued by the head of the Judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and sought bill to that effect from the Judiciary to be passed into legislation, head of Parliamentary Commission Article 90 Hossein Ansari-Rad said on Saturday.

The Judiciary chief took a progressive step last week by banning torture and degrading treatment towards prisoners.

The parliament had passed a legislation last year requiring the government to join the international convention banning torture, but, the Guardian Council rejected the law.

"Since the Judiciary has issued a circular banning torture, I think the Guardian Council will not reject if the parliament passes it as a legislation," Ansari-Rad said.

He said that Ayatollah Shahroudi`s circular was a breakthrough to put an end to torture. "I will pray to God to help the Judiciary to ensure respect for the circular.

"In 1981, when the late Imam Khomeini issued an eight-point decree banning torture, I was impressed and wept emotionally, but, unfortunately, it was not heeded and later several other directives have been issued to that effect later without being enforced. But, I pray to God for help in observing the latest circular," Ansari-Rad said.

He called on the Judiciary to make distinction between political activists challenging the system of government and those who embarked on armed struggle against the Islamic Republic.

"Political crime has a clear-cut definition just like other cases of legal or punitive crimes. The Judiciary should set a distinction between political crime and armed struggle against the system," Ansari-Rad said.

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

... Payvand News - 5/1/04 ... --

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