UN rights experts criticise Iran over 'vague' replies

18th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

UN Human Rights Committee experts on Tuesday criticised Iran's failure to provide sufficient details on the use of the death penalty as well as policies surrounding issues like gay rights.

French expert Christine Chanet noted that Iranian responses have been "partial and vague," and that the Iranian delegation failed to provide an exhaustive list of capital punishment carried out.

She also slammed Tehran for failing to answer questions on the treatment accorded to homosexuals.

"I observe that the country is very embarrassed by this question. All this has been covered up in silence," she said.

"I see that there are no precise responses with regards to the precise questions," added Romanian expert Iulia Antoanella Motoc.

"We do not have exact statistics on the number of deaths and people" reported missing during the violence surrounding the 2009 presidential elections, she said.

In its responses about the death penalty, the Iranian delegation explained that capital punishment was only used in the "most serious crimes."

Nevertheless, it can also be imposed on "other offences which may been considered less important," the delegation acknowledged.

"But until now, these sentences have never been followed by an execution," added the Iranian official.

As for data, the Iranian delegation would only say that 70 percent of death sentences relate to drug trafficking.

© 2011 AFP

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