Iran rights charter has no power over judiciary

The Charter of Citizens' Rights, released last month by the office of President Hassan Rouhani, embodies freedoms including the right to trial in open court without arbitrary detention.

Iran rights charter has no power over judiciary

World Bulletin / News Desk

Iran's new charter of rights outlining freedoms of speech, protest and fair trials does not apply to the detention of opposition leaders and dual nationals, the bill's architect says.

But Elham Aminzadeh, special assistant to Rouhani on citizens' rights said in an interview that the bill has no power over the judiciary or parliament and only covers the civil service and other parts of the executive.

"I cannot put an article in this charter for the judiciary or legislative," said Aminzadeh, who spent three years compiling the document.

Asked about the continued house arrest without trial of opposition leaders since anti-government protests in 2009, she said: "It is not very related to the executive or administrative power. It is something else. I cannot answer to this."

On the trials of dual nationals, who have recently been jailed in closed-door courts, Aminzadeh said: "Security prisoners have a special process inside the judiciary. We cannot say anything about special security prisoners.

"We talk to the judiciary, but just talk and notifying -- nothing more," she added.

Recent months have seen several cases such as that of British-Iranian Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, sentenced to five years in prison for "sedition", and US-Iranian Siamak Namazi and his father, both given 10 years for espionage, which have caused outrage around the world.

Aminzadeh said she hoped the charter might one day be made into law by parliament and extended to all branches of government, but she indicated this was not a pressing concern.

"In comparing to other countries, I think (the human rights situation in Iran) is good, but it can be better," she said.

Aminzadeh denied the charter was just an attempt to win votes ahead of Rouhani's likely bid for re-election in May. It had been a key campaign promise in 2013.

"It's not a slogan... It is not just for the Rouhani government, it is for the next 100 years," she said.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Ocak 2017, 13:30