World Bulletin/News Desk
Iran defended its human rights record on Friday, striking back at the West for its criticism about a woman hanged for murder in an alleged rape case.
Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights, was responding to calls from Western powers, including the United States, at a U.N. debate to allow freedoms of expression and religion, as well as their concerns at a rise in executions.
Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn on Saturday in Tehran's Evin prison for the murder of man she said had trid to rape her. The dead man's relatives refused to grant a reprieve within the 10-day deadline set by law in force since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
"We were not successful to solicit forgiveness from the hearts of victims. So the execution went on. Though we are very sorry that two nationals lost lives, but capital punishment or 'qisas' is a unique particularity of our system. I think it worth Western countries to look into it," Larijani said.
"The idea that only good things in western community - the 'West and the rest' - this is a very destructive idea of human rights," he told the Geneva forum holding a regular review of Iran's record.
Larijani said he had asked the man's relatives to forgive Jabbari and spare her life.
"Unfortunately we were not able, perhaps one reason for that was the huge propaganda that was created against this case. In my last meeting with the son of the victim, I requested him very humbly to forgive, I told him: 'you lost a loved one, forgive, this is the teaching of Koran'.
"He said 'we had the intention to forgive. But with this media blitz, officials are accusing our father of being engaged in force and violent rape, we cannot have his humiliation'."
Due process and the independence of Iran's judiciary was enshrined in its constitution, Larijani said. Judicial and prison staff were being trained in human rights.
Iran did not discriminate on the basis of race, colour, sex, or religion and allowed activist groups to work, he said.
But U.N. sanctions imposed on Iran for its nuclear programme and "unilateral coercive measures against our citizens" created obstacles to economic and social rights, Larijani said.
Britain, Australia, Canada, France and the United States were among those speaking out at alleged rights violations in Iran in the debate, which was part of the U.N. council's regular examination of every U.N. member state every four years.
Rezaian, a dual Iranian-American national, has been based in Tehran since 2008. The two states have no diplomatic relations. This month Iran released his wife, an Iranian journalist, on bail after more than two months held without charge.
Britain's deputy ambassador Mark Matthews voiced concern at a "sharp increase in executions in Iran over the past year".
Last Mod: 31 Ekim 2014, 14:54