Summary of Iran Stories in Today's BroadcastsBehnam NateghiWednesday, May 05, 2004
<b>Shirin Ebadi: In Iran Torture Is Legal</b>
• Torture is legal in Iran, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi said in a question and answer session with human rights activists in Vancouver. In the meeting, also attended by US-based lawyer and women's rights advocate Mehrangiz Kar and former UN Human Rights Commission's former Special Representative on Iran Maurice Copithorne, Ms. Ebadi said she told Copithorne in one of his trips to Iran that instead of wasting time interviewing the authorities and activists, he can read the Islamic Republic constitution, which clearly legalizes torture. She said institutionalizing respect for human rights requires collective effort, and cannot be accomplished by any one person, according to Toronto-based <i>Sharvand</i> magazine. (Maryam Aghvami, Toronto)
<b>Judiciary Plays Down Aghajari's Death Sentence</b>
• A branch of Hamedan judiciary reinstated jailed history professor and Islamic leftist activist Hashem Aghajari's death sentence, which had been turned down last year by the Islamic judiciary's Supreme Count, following widespread student demonstrations. Aghajari, a founding member of the leftist pro-reform group the Mujahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO) has been in jail since being arrested on June 2002 following a speech in Hamedan on Islamic Protestantism, in which he criticized the clerical rule and the Shiite principle of religious emulation. Aghajari's lawyer Saleh Nikbakhat confirmed receiving a copy of the death sentence yesterday, but judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Elham rejected Nikbakht's statement as “baseless.” Aghajari's wife <b>Zahra Behnudi</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the court order had been faxed to Mr. Nikbakht, and was not officially served to him, for which he would have had to sign a receipt. “I don't know how the judiciary spokesman could deny this,” she adds. Furthermore, she says, Hamedan judiciary chief Zekrollah Ahmadi has also confirmed that the death sentence has been re-issued. (Tara Atefi)
• Head of the Hamedan judiciary denied on Thursday his earlier comment about Aghajari's death sentence. He had said on Tuesday that a Hamedan judge had re-issued the death sentence, after revising it, based on the Supreme Court's critique. It appears that the judiciary has not made a final decision on Aghajari. (Fereydoun Zarnegar)
• We have not been officially served a copy of the verdict that the bench 36 of the Hamedan appeals court has issued, Aghajari's lawyer <b>Saleh Nikbakht</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. “What has been faxed to us is only a five-line paragraph from the court order that had been given to my client to sign,” he adds. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
• The Islamic Republic judiciary system is not a modern system, it is based on 14-centuries-old law, Paris-based human rights advocate <b>Abdolkarim Lahiji</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. It appears that the Supreme Court had rejected Aghajari's initial death sentence on a technicality, such as incomplete investigation, he says. The confusion over the matter reflects the disjointed, conflicted nature of the judiciary. (Amir Armin)
• German foreign minister complained about Aghajari's death sentence today in his joint press conference with foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi, who said the death sentence was not final.
<b>Islamic Court Sentences Nationalist-Religious Detainees to Jail</b>
• An appeals court in Tehran sentenced three nationalist-religious detainees Taqi Rahmani, Hoda Saber and Reza Alijani to seven, six and four years in jail, respectively, according to the public relations office of the Tehran judiciary. However, the three jailed activists' lawyer <b>Saleh Nikbakht</b> tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the verdicts have not been officially served to the defendants and their lawyers. Although 10 months has passed since the three had been arrested, no official trial has been held for them and their lawyers have not been permitted to visit with their clients or read the case record, he adds. (Amir-Mosaddegh Katouzian)
<b>Iranian Woman Sues MKO in France Over 1999 Attack In Tehran</b>
• A relative of a victim of the 1999 mortar attack on the Tehran headquarters of the Expediency Council filed a lawsuit in France against the Iraq-based anti-regime armed group the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which took responsibility for the attack. French prosecutor may turn down the lawsuit after initial investigation, since it is about an attack in a foreign country by nationals of that country, according to French legal experts. “No civilian was hurt in the operation, since, according to Iran's domestic press, the attack was directed at the offices of the Expediency Council, to which ordinary citizens have no access,” <b>Mohammad Mohaddesin</b>, head of the public relations office of the MKO's political arm the National Resistance Council, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. (Mir-Ali Hosseini, Paris)
<b>Union Protests against Authorities' Non-Response to Writers' Grievances</b>
• In a statement issued in Tehran, the Iranian Writers' Union protested against what it called the authorities lack of response to the writers' complaints and grievances. Tehran-based poet <b>Simin Behbahani</b>, member of the writers' union board of directors, tells <b>Radio Farda</b> that the government has prevented for the past two years the Writers' Union from convening a general meeting in order to re-elect a new board of directors. The writers' union stands for free speech, therefore, those who oppose the writers' union are enemies of free speech, she adds. (Nazi Azima)
<b>Judiciary Suggests Reforming Child Abuse Law</b>
• The judiciary chief suggested revising a child abuse bill submitted to the Majles last year to include punishment for the fathers who perpetrate abuse and neglect against their children. In the current version of the child abuse bill, fathers are excluded, since, according to Islamic law, father's custody of the children is absolute, head of non-governmental organization society for defense of children <b>Dr. Shiva Dowlatabadi</b>, who helped write the bill, tells <b>Radio Farda</b>. The current civil code prohibits prosecuting a father, even if he murders his children, she adds. Another problem in prosecuting perpetrators of child abuse, which the revised version of child abuse bill should address, is corporal punishment. Using corporal punishment to discipline the children is common in many families. The law should define when corporal punishment becomes child abuse, Ms. Dowlatabadi adds. (Farin Asemi)
<b>Foreign Minister Seeks European Support for the Islamic Republic</b>
• In Berlin on Wednesday, foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi said Iran would fulfill the promise made last October to the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany to suspend its uranium enrichment program. But recently, concerns have emerged that Iran may be backtracking. “We will fulfill our obligations as far as our nuclear program is concerned,” Kharrazi said after talks with German foreign minister Joschka Fischer. “This is not an Iranian project, but a joint project by Iran, the European countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency. A success in this project will be a success for everyone, he said. “If we really want to make progress, then we really must have the complete implementation of the agreement, that is the most important point,” Fischer said in his joint press conference with Kharrazi. He said it was “crucially important” that the IAEA chief could present a “positive” report on Iran's compliance to the IAEA board of governors.
• Iranian news media reported that Kharrazi met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, but in a phone interview with <b>Radio Farda</b>, an official of the Chancellor's office said he had no information about such a meeting. The unveiling of an anti-terrorism plaque in Berlin which condemns the Islamic Republic's top authorities for the 1992 killing of anti-regime Kurdish activists in Mykonos restaurant, has chilled Germany-Iran relations. (Shahram Mirian, Cologne)
<b>Deputy Foreign Minister Visits Rome</b>
• Deputy foreign minister Ali Ahani met in Rome with minister of production activities, as well as other Italian officials. Italy is Iran's second greatest trade partner after Germany. (Ahmad Ra'fat, Rome)
تارا عاطفي (راديوفردا): شيرين عبادي، برنده جايزه نوبل سال 2003 ميلادي، در جلسه پرسش و پاسخي که توسط گروهي از ايرانيان غرب کانادا در ونکوور برگزار شد، مي گويد: نقض حقوق بشر در ايران قانونمند شده است. خانم عبادي که به همراه گروهي از فعالان حقوق بشر در اين جلسه شرکت کرده بود، به تشريح وضعيت حقوق بشر در ايران پرداخت.
مريم اقوامي (راديوفردا، تورانتو): شيرين عبادي، برنده جايزه صلح نوبل سال 2003، در ميزگردي در ونکوور، که با حضور مهرانگيز کار، وکيل ايراني و فعال حقوق بشر و موريس کاپيتورن، گزارشگر سابق سازمان ملل در کميسيون حقوق بشر در امور ايران تشکيل شد، مي گويد: نقض حقوق بشر در ايران قانونمند شده است.
روزنامه فارسي زبان شهروند در شماره اخير خود در مورد اين ميزگرد مي نويسد: در اين برنامه كه به همت «سازمان ايرانيان غرب كانادا» و گروه هاي فعال حقوق بشر در اروپا و امريكا شمالي برگزار شده بود، وضعيت حقوق بشر در ايران مورد بحث و بررسي قرار گرفت.
خانم عبادي در بخشي از سخنراني خود در مورد يکي از سفرهاي آقاي کاپيتورن به ايران و تحقيق وي در مورد اعمال شکنجه در ايران مي گويد: من به وي گفتم شما نيازي به تحقيق چندان نداريد و با مراجعه به كتاب قانون اساسي، خواهيد ديد كه شكنجه در ايران نه نقض قانون، كه خود قانون است.
روزنامه شهروند در ادامه مي نويسد: خانم عبادي معتقد است که استقرار حقوق بشر در ايران همت همگاني مي طلبد، و کار يک نفر نيست، و براي نهادينه شدن حقوق بشر در ايران، هر کس بايد يک قهرمان باشد. شيرين عبادي در بخشي از سخنراني خود در ونکوور، با تجليل از زهرا کاظمي، مي گويد: او شهيد راه آزادي، شهيد راه حقوق بشر، و آزادي مطبوعات شد. او که به ايران رفته بود تا نگفته ها را بازگو کند، با خون خود حقوق بشر را در تاريخ نوشت.
خانم عبادي در اين جلسه در پاسخ به پرسشي درباره استفاده از موقعيت جديد خود براي يک مبارزه جدي براي دفاع از حقوق بشر در ايران مي گويد: من قهرمان نيستم، و در حد خود تلاش مي کنم. شيرين عبادي در بخش ديگري از صحبت هاي خود به موارد تبعيض عليه زنان و نيز اقليتهاي مذهبي در ايران اشاره کرد.
در بخش ديگري از اين برنامه، مهرانگيز کار که تلاش هاي خستگي ناپذير وي در راه احقاق حقوق بشر توسط برنده ايراني جايزه صلح نوبل سال 2003 مورد قدرداني قرار گرفت، به ارائه گزارشي در مورد نقض حقوق بشر طي 25 سال اخير در ايران پرداخت.
موريس کاپيتورن نيز در بخشي از سخنان خود به نقش زنان در مبارزه براي حقوق انساني در ايران اشاره کرد، و به تشريح مبارزات زنان از دوران مشروطيت، تا امروز که شيرين عبادي، برنده جايزه صلح نوبل سال 2003 است، پرداخت. خانم شيرين عبادي، برنده جايزه نوبل سال 2003 ميلادي، در جلسه پرسش و پاسخي که توسط گروهي از ايرانيان غرب کانادا در ونکوور برگزار شد، گفت که نقض حقوق بشر در ايران قانونمند است. در اين ميزگرد مهرانگيز کار، وکيل ايراني و فعال حقوق بشر و موريس کاپيتورن، گزارشگر سابق سازمان ملل در کميسيون حقوق بشر در امور ايران نيز حضور داشتند. خانم عبادي در بخشي از سخنراني خود در مورد يکي از سفرهاي آقاي کاپيتورن به ايران و تحقيق وي در مورد اعمال شکنجه در ايران گفت: من به وي گفتم شما نيازي به تحقيق چندان نداريد و با مراجعه به كتاب قانون اساسي، خواهيد ديد كه شكنجه در ايران نه نقض قانون، كه خود قانون است.