GENEVA (Reuters) – Iran rejected calls to release all political prisoners and accept an international inquiry into violence after last June’s contested presidential elections, an official U.N. report said.
The Islamic Republic also refused to end the death penalty and said it would not make torture as an offence under its laws, according to the report on a discussion of its rights record in the world body’s Human Rights Council.
In the discussion, held on Monday as part of the Universal Permanent Review (UPR) process which all U.N. members undergo every four years, it said many recommendations, including one from Chile urging guarantees of political and civil rights for all, including dissidents, were already in effect.
In Wednesday’s report, approved by the 47-member Council, Iran had already declared it was an open democracy under the rule of law, pledged it would comply fully with international rights pacts and ensure that torture was eliminated.
The Council also registered Iranian promises to ensure religious freedom, freedom of expression and the right to demonstrate peacefully.
Critics of the UPR system, including many activist NGOs, say it gives too much room for countries to fend off detailed criticism on specific issues and allows them to make vague promises of future action.
“The proof of this pudding produced today will be in the eating,” said one European diplomat asking for anonymity in referring to the Iran report. “… >>>