TEHERAN - Iran’s conservative judiciary has for the first time admitted human rights violations in the country, local media reported on Friday.
Head of the judiciary Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahrudi said late Thursday that rights of political dissidents had in some cases been violated by investigators in Iran’s detention centres.
He also accused the investigators of violating Islamic and ethical principles to elicit confessions from dissidents.
Iran’s administration, especially the judiciary which is regarded as a stronghold of the conservative clergy, has until now rejected criticism from human rights groups, the United Nations and international governments as “interference in the country’s internal affairs”.
The European Union is demanding improvements in Iran’s human rights record as a key condition of improved political and trade ties, together with the suspension of nuclear activities.
The European Parliament in a report compiled last January accused the Iranian judiciary of human rights violations including execution, stoning, torture and persecution of dissident or liberal media.
Iran has however accused international human rights organizations of lacking an “accurate understanding of Islamic norms”, saying human rights criteria cannot be standardised but must be assessed according to the culture and beliefs of the relevant countries.
From : Khaleej Times Online, 6 May 2005