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Karroubi hits back at Parliament over rape claim

Source: PressTV

Former Iranian presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi has taken a swipe at parliament for adopting a 'hasty' approach toward the controversial 'jail rape' report.

Karroubi on Thursday criticized officials in particular Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani for rejecting the reports as a lie 'without conducting an investigation' into the issue.

The veteran Reformist figure said he did not expect the officials in Majlis who were tasked with probing into the issue "to deny the content of his letter within 24 hours and even before the special committee tasked with investigating the issue convenes"to give a report on the controversial matter.

Karroubi first raised questions about reports of sexual abuse of post-election detainees in a letter dated July 29 to Ayatollah Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani, the Chairman of Expediency Council.

In his letter, Karroubi urged a probe into the reports of the sexual abuse of prisoners at the notorious Kahrizak detention center in southern Tehran, where he said several of both male and female detainees were brutally raped.

Following the request to probe into the issue, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Monday urged an inquiry into the report and assigned a special committee to investigate the issue.

On Wednesday, Larijani dismissed the report as 'sheer lies', saying that a 'thorough and comprehensive' inquiry found no cases of sexual abuse.

"Following a precise and comprehensive inquiry into (the treatment of) detainees at Kahrizak and Evin prisons, no cases of rape or sexual abuse were found," he added.

Warning politicians to 'be cautious about claims' and urging them not to publicize allegations before investigation, Larijani, then, called on Karroubi to present strong evidence to prove his claims.

On Thursday, Karroubi responded to Larijani's demand of presenting solid evidence by saying that the Parliament, at the very least, could have contacted him to know about the required information.

"Mr. Larijani had better refer the special committee probing the issue to me so that I could provide the committee with my evidence."

Stressing that he would not back away from his stance, the former two-time parliament speaker suggested the formation of an 'independent impartial committee' comprised of 'trustworthy' individuals to look into the reports to make sure that people's rights will be well protected.

With regard to his letter to Ayatollah Rafsanjani, Karroubi said the letter was consequently handed over to the outgoing Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi who ordered an investigation to the issue.

According to the seasoned politician, the judiciary chief has called on the country's Prosecutor General Qorban-Ali Dorri-Najafabadi to contact Karroubi to pursue the matter.

Earlier, Iranian daily Jomhuriye Eslami reported that Ayatollah Shahroudi had responded to the letter by saying that such treatment had not happened in those detention centers that were under the supervision of the judicial branch.

The 'non-standard' prison of Kahrizak was shut down upon a direct order by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei in July after reports surfaced about the mistreatment of detainees who protested against the result of the disputed presidential vote.

After the shutdown, the head of Kahrizak prison was dismissed and arrested for 'dereliction of duty'.

Rape in prisons of Iran

... Payvand News - 08/14/09 ... --

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