19 November 2010
Mohammad Javad Larijani, the secretary-general of Iran's Human Rights Council, has defended the practice of stoning people. Larijani said in New York that the sentence had not been carried out applied for years because of a moratorium, but added that it served as an important deterrent. "More than 50 percent [of people] may not die" if stoning is employed, he was quoted as saying by the ‘Wall Street Journal’. Larijani is a US-trained mathematician and comes from one of Iran's most powerful political families. He is a key member of Tehran's foreign policy establishment. His brother, Ali Larijani, is a former foreign minister and currently the speaker of the Iranian parliament. His second brother, Sadegh, heads the Iranian judiciary.
On Thursday, the UN General Assembly's Third Committee, which handles humanitarian issues, adopted by 80 to 44 votes, a draft resolution which expresses "deep concern at serious human rights violations in Iran," including torture, persecution of ethnic minorities and violence against women. Canada had sponsored the measure, arguing that there has been a "very regrettable" deterioration in Iran's human rights situation in the past year. The text could be adopted by the full General Assembly soon.
The draft resolution also mentions the high incidence in carrying out the death penalty and increased persecution against members of the Baha'i faith in its list of human rights concerns in Iran. It also notes "particular concern" about what it calls a failure of Iran's government "to investigate or launch an accountability process for alleged violations following the presidential elections" in June 2009. It called for an end to impunity for those who attacked demonstrators after the vote, and called on the government to no longer use its security forces and pro-government militias to break up peaceful protests.
Larijani told the Third Committee that the "shameful" resolution was filled with "fallacies" and "unverifiable accusations". Although Canada was the leading sponsor, said Larijani, "the United States of America is the mastermind and the main provocateur" in the drafting of the resolution, which he called “part of US policy against the Islamic Republic of Iran". He also defended Iran’s handling of the 2009 protests, and noted that the United States and France in the past have grappled with street protests of their own. Referring to Iran as an "Islamic democracy", he asked: "Is it possible to have a democracy without protests?"
We welcome any comments you may have on this article.
Comments are moderated and we reserve the right to edit or remove any which are derogatory or offensive.
The WJC is not responsible for the content of any comments.
There are no comments
Fill up the form above and be the first one
Subscribe to our newsletter.