New York Times - United Nations investigator of Iran’s human rights record castigated its government for what he called evidence of “a striking pattern of violations of fundamental human rights guaranteed under international law.” A 36-page report by the investigator, Ahmed Shaheed, a special rapporteur for the Human Rights Council, catalogued numerous examples, including violations of due process in the courts, illegal detentions, extensive accusations of torture of prisoners, and maltreatment of dissidents, minorities, journalists and women. The report praised Iran for omitting stoning as a form of capital punishment in its new penal code, but it faulted the country for its large number of executions, mostly in drug cases, which increased to at least 670 cases last year from 100 in 2003.
It also criticized a bill under consideration in Parliament that would allow men to enter into temporary marriages without the knowledge or permission of their wives. Iran had previously objected to the appointment of a special investigator of its rights record and said the inquiry reflected what it called “Western espionage agencies, Zionist elements and terrorist groups.” It has not permitted Mr. Shaheed to visit the country, which he acknowledged in the report, saying the restriction required that he fulfill his mandate “on the basis of voluminous information collected from a variety of independent and reliable sources.”
By Rick Gladstone