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Using human rights to bully certain nations bans constructive interaction
Thursday 15 March 2018 - 13:17:27 |  IRAN

Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights Mohammad Javad Larijani and some representatives of the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) held a joint session in Geneva.
Using human rights to bully certain nations bans constructive interaction

At the meeting, Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary of the High Council for Human Rights of the Islamic Republic of Iran, presented a report on Iran's human rights achievements and initiatives.

He pointed to his experiences in the field of human rights saying "we need to take advantage of each other's experiences." Sad issues have also taken place in the area of human rights mainly due to ill-intentioned policies pursued by the United States and its western allies which have brought about difficult conditions.

"Human rights and civilization are fluid and ongoing experiences. The fact must be taken into account that human rights are not promotable through pressure nor can they be obtained by importing as a commodity imported from other countries since they are based on internal affairs of countries. The use of human rights as a means of putting pressure against certain countries cannot lead to constructive interaction between different countries, especially in the international arena."

Larijani said Iran had discussed these issues in detail and emphasized that human rights were not limited to particular countries; "human rights are for human dignity, and human dignity is not a charitable gift from the United States, but from God. We must keep this divine blessing."

Secretary-General of High Council for Human Rights of Iran later presented a summary of Iran's human rights activities over the past four decades.

He said "over the past 40 years, in order to promote human rights apart from propaganda and advertising spaces, the first achievement is the democratic political structure and people that have been formed in Iran, and we should not forget that Iran was the land of kings and emperors for thousands of years and has long enjoyed the political structure; therefore, the first objective of revolutionary experience was to establish a rational and democratic structure with Islamic rationality as its basis."

Democracy is not imported but grows like a tree

The high-ranking Iranian official later stressed that democracy cannot be imported like commodities; it is like a tree that needs to grow, and needs pruning and attention, and despite difficulties, Islam been established in Iran and has gradually grown.

Larijani said those in power in Iran are elected through people's vote, power is so sweet and one must be prepared to lose it one day; I had been in Parliament for a long time and served as a representative of the people of Tehran, and I lost my seat in the elections; I was first upset, but after a little reflection, I was pleased with the democratic experience. All parts of power in Iran are based on direct and indirect votes casted by the people and this holds true even for the Leader.

"In the power structure of Iran, the president, members of the parliament and members of the assembly of expert are all directly elected by the people's votes," he asserted.

He emphasized that the duty of Assembly of Experts was to supervise the leadership and if necessary, they would choose a new leader; so, all the power structures in our democracy are based on popular vote, and the most important human rights achievement in Iran is democracy.

The official highlighted that human rights and democracy were symbol and while referring to the recent Iranian election, stated "holding elections proves to be a complicated task and even Americans, with hundreds of years of experience, were shocked by the result of the own presidential elections last year."

Dr. Larijani went on to add that human dignity depends on the fact that every person knows and demands his exact rights, we have created institutions to care for and facilitate the issue of the basic rights of the citizens and to protect their rights of the citizens. About 15 years ago, a law was passed by the parliament which was presented by the judiciary aiming at promoting and protecting citizenship rights. The bill creates shortcuts so that the judiciary system can enforce citizenship rights by expediting the otherwise delayed processes.

He stated that institutions were formed in each province by the Judiciary to serve all citizens, both Muslims or non-Muslims, and anyone below the title of citizenship; people file about 1,500 annual complaints to these institutions. A special judicial mechanism is being pursued, almost all of which ends in the interests of citizens.

The secretary general of Iran's High Council for Human Rights said these measures are being taken to promote the rights of citizens, and the government of Mr. Rouhani has also recently drafted a document called the Charter on Citizens' Rights on the basis of the same law and materials in the constitution and other laws of the country. The government seeks to promote the charter boost its implementation through the administrative structure of the country, which is a good process and enjoys the support of the legislative and judiciary systems.

"We also increased range of duties carried out by the country's Attorney General to protect and defend the public interest. For instance, if electricity and water are distributed inappropriately in remote cities or the price of raw materials are disproportionate to living costs, the Attorney General can intervene and probe into the issue and see what is wrong. This is a good process to ensure the public interest in various parts of their lives, such as garbage collection or distribution of drinking water, etc."

He reiterated that Iran has the Administrative Court of Justice, which supervises government officials' duties towards citizens and spots malfunctions in the process. We also have a Justice Court where every citizen can file lawsuits against any government official without any restrictions, and marginalized citizens can change government laws for a particular issue, and can even complain against the ministers and high-ranking officials.

Dr. Larijani later stated that the fact that the structure is based on Islamic rationality does not mean that the government and judges will open the Qur'an and make their decisions but it means that all laws must be passed through the parliament.

He continued by stating that Islamic rationality is the main foundation. This basis is a special way of reasoning. For instance, rights of defendants are provided in the law, which is an important issue of human rights. A person charged with a crime should have civil rights in all judicial processes, and even enjoys certain rights in a prison based on Islamic jurisprudence, but these laws must go to the parliament and be drafted in the language of law and the judge uses those laws.

Stressing that these laws need to be reformed, he said "the basis of rationality is people's interest and the solution is based on Islamic rationality, and the human being are faced with several difficulties which can be solved through jurisprudence and ijtihad.

The official pointed to some reforms explaining "anti-drug laws have been amended recently. Afghanistan, which is a neighboring country, unfortunately faced a six-fold increase in cultivation of narcotics after presence of NATO forces. Afghanistan's drug is mostly transmitted through Iran to the West and a part of the drug is inevitably transferred to Iran.

Dr. Larijani noted that the fight against narcotics is very difficult and dangerous; "drug trafficking exists since rapid acquisition of wealth is very tempting; and we have a very serious law to counter narcotics. Ninety percent of our executions are related to dealing of drugs, and most of the narcotics entering Iran are supposed to be transmitted to the West and the death penalty is intended to prevent smuggling of materials to Western countries.

The fight against drugs requires a collective action, and Iran should not be left alone in this struggle; drugs are an international issue and I call on my friends and brothers in the Non-Aligned Movement to take a position on the issue which affects lives of all people in the world. 

Dr. Larijani referred to other relevant laws in the parliament and said "the comprehensive law to prevent violence against women - rate of which is much lower in Iran than in Western countries - is yet another example. I have already said that Iranian men love their women and women are very much affectionate, but on the sidelines of the city, mainly due to arrival of the media, modern forms of violence against women have come to light.

Later into the joint session, representatives of different countries described the meeting as fruitful and expressed hope for sharing of Iran's experience and cooperation on human rights. The Venezuelan representative, as the current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, also appreciated Iran's initiative to hold such a meeting for sharing efforts and experiences and invited other members of the Movement to continue the same process.

Head of Iran's High Council for Human Rights resumed his comments by saying "we are reviewing a law on child protection and emphasized that juveniles are never executed since the law says no teenager will be sentenced to death, except when, for example, the murderer is at least 18 years old and the judge will recognize that the person can take responsibility and is considered as mature as an adult. And you know that the general law bans juvenile execution except for rare occasions."

"Human rationality, as stated in the Qur'an, is based on two main factors one being that every person is responsible for their actions and the other being that each person knows that their actions have consequences and should be in a position of puberty who can understand these consequences and take responsibility for it," Larijani emphasized.

The official maintained that the judge must recognize if the person possesses enough maturity to take responsibility for their actions and therefore everything cannot be decided with a number like 18 as the age of the victim.

Mohammad Javad Larijani stated that Iran is one of the most advanced countries in the region especially in the field of science and technology adding "we have had a good performance in public education, especially as regards human rights education, my major in mathematics and physics, and I have established a very large institute in basic science, I'm glad that key figures and prominent people are active in that institution. Our progress in science was not accidental. We had a strategic approach to modern science, and this is the path that has been pursued for 40 years.

"Science is also another issue that cannot enter the country as an asset or commodity, but it must grow; in some areas of technology, such as nuclear technology, we have great potential and we are proud of our capabilities in the field of nuclear science," he underscored adding "this remains as an asset to the Islamic Republic and the Non-Alignment Movement as well as or other countries, but we do not produce bombs. We need enrichment for electricity, we can build a nuclear reactor and we can use nuclear power for medical services and many other areas."

Highlighting the fact that no one should criticize the Islamic Republic of Iran for its scientific advancement, Larijani said "they want to look down upon us and should not be angry with us because of scientific advances. We are also part of the non-alignment movement and the Islamic world, and our scientists, especially women, work very well.

The official also pinpointed that "a few years ago, when I was teaching mathematics at one of Iran's leading universities, I had a few female students, but now there are more girls than boys and they are doing well in their training."

He concluded his remarks with an idea presented by founder of the Islamic Revolution late Imam Khomeini who believed that "women, instead of having marginal activities, must play key roles in the government and the society."

"Presently, Iranian women are powerful enough to defend their rights; they are well-educated and dominant. We were very successful in education and we have had a good performance in reforming the rules and we have been also successful in encouraging women to participate in social activities," said Mohammad Javad Larijani, Secretary of Iran's High Council for Human Rights.

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