UN calls for release of Iranian pastor, reform of penal code
By Michelle Bauman
Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N.'s Special Rapportuer, briefs correspondents at UN Headquarters on Oct. 21, 2011. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider.
Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N.'s Special Rapportuer, briefs correspondents at UN Headquarters on Oct. 21, 2011. Credit: UN Photo/Evan Schneider.

.- The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran has spoken out against the death sentence given to Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani and numerous other alleged human rights violations carried out by regime.

“In some cases, elements of Iran’s penal code and legal practices amount to contravention of those international laws it acceded to,” said Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N.’s independent expert on human rights in Iran.

In an Oct. 19 report to the General Assembly’s third committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural affairs, Shaheed noted that Iran’s policies “lack substantive cooperation with the UN human rights system.”

He said that he was “particularly disturbed” by the recent death sentence given to Yousef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who has been ordered to renounce his beliefs or face execution by hanging.

The U.N. official urged Iranian officials to consider releasing Nadarkhani, along with other individuals who have reportedly been arrested and prosecuted by the regime.

Shaheed also said that he had been informed that Iran has arrested and prosecuted at least 42 lawyers for trying to provide legal counsel to accused individuals. Charges brought against these lawyers include insulting the Supreme Leader, acting against national security and spreading propaganda.

Nadarkhani’s attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, told the American Center for Law and Justice that he has received a nine-year prison sentence for representing cases such as Nadarkhani’s.

Dadkhah plans to appeal the sentence, but the process could take months and Iranian authorities could decide to enforce the sentence at any time.

According to an Oct. 14 statement from the Center for Law and Justice, Dadkhah also said that the Iranian regime was threatening him for embarrassing the country and judicial system and that he “may no longer be able to speak freely to the American press.”

Iranian officials dismissed Shaheed’s report to the U.N.

“Its content is absolutely unjustified, unwarranted and unacceptable for my country,” said Iran's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Eshaq Al-e-Habib.

He called report “unacceptable and invalid” and said that it consisted of “poorly-sourced, exaggerated and outdated allegations.”

Mohammad-Javad Larijani, secretary general of Iran's Supreme Council for Human Rights, also denied the charges brought up in the report.

He told Fars News Agency that the report was “completely based on the West's political motives” and said that it “calls into question the reputation of the Human Rights Committee.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: