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Belgium & Ali Akbar Rafsanjani

News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International

22 March 2000


As proceedings before an investigating judge in Belgium are not public, Amnesty International does not know the details of the investigation opened against Ali Akbar Rafsanjani, former Speaker of Parliament and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and therefore cannot comment on it.

In general, Amnesty International calls on all states to ensure prompt thorough and independent investigations whenever allegations of crimes under international law, such as torture, are made. If such an investigation shows that there is sufficient evidence for a prosecution, then, in accordance with international law, Amnesty International calls on states to bring the accused to trial or extradite them to another country for trial, as long as any such trial meets international standards for fairness and does not result in the imposition of the death penalty or other cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment.

Amnesty International notes that under international law the national courts of any state may try people accused of torture regardless of the nationality of the alleged perpetrators or victims, and regardless of where the crimes were committed.

The organization's published reports documenting human rights violations around the world are available to anyone interested. ENDS.../

Amnesty International, International Secretariat
1 Easton Street
London WC1X 8DJ
United Kingdom


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