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Iran's Judiciary Chief admits human rights violations in detention centers

Tehran, May 5, IRNA-Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi admitted for the first time that people are suffering from human rights violations when they are being arrested for political charges.

Speaking in the two-day Conference of the Public and Revolutionary Prosecutors, he said that Islamic law and ethics are being violated by the investigators when they interrogate those under arrest.

"Evidences indicate that the investigators in the detention centers violate Islamic and ethical principles to elicit confessions from those being accused of political offenses," Ayatollah Shahroudi said.

"Islam has clearly recommended us to respect human rights and I've got to know that we are currently violating what Islam ordered to us in relation with human rights of the people who for some reason are being led to the detention centers," he said.

"We have established the public and revolutionary courts to restore rights of the public. We have established police stations and security institutions to serve the people. If we commit human rights violations in those centers, we have done great injustice to the people," Ayatollah Shahroudi said.

"Eliciting confession from the defendants in absence of the judge is Haram (forbidden in Islam). Only the judge has the right to interrogate the defendant," Shahroudi said.

"I have evidences that the investigators have used force to elicit confessions from the defendants. During interrogations, they forced the defendants to confess to several other charges which have nothing to do with the main charge that only the judge should examine," he said.

He said that the security officers have no right to intervene with the legal proceedings about a defendant.

Only the judge has the right to interrogate a defendant, he said.

Press activists say that the Judiciary chief's attention has been drawn to human rights violations thanks to the freedom of expression made available by eight-year campaign of President Mohammad Khatami, otherwise, the Judiciary chief could not have found out to what kind of oppression the political activists have been exposed.

... Payvand News - 5/6/05 ... --

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