Iran faces UN rights review on Monday

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The UN's human rights committee will on Monday begin questioning Iran over its attempts to reduce executions and other extreme judicial sentences, while probing the country's efforts at promoting key rights.

Iranian officials will face questions from the 18 independent experts who make up the UN committee that monitors implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights among state-parties.

The review is set to begin Monday with the presentation of a 224-page report produced by the experts and will wrap on Tuesday when the committee presents its conclusions.

Iran was last reviewed by the committee in 1993, when its experts condemned "the extremely high number of death sentences that are pronounced and carried out, in many cases after a trial where the guarantees of a regular hearing were not applied in an appropriate manner".

The council equally denounced the application of extreme disciplinary measures, including flagellation and stoning.

Those practices continue in Iran and are relentlessly criticised by rights activists and many Western governments.

Under Iranian law, murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are punishable by death, and Tehran insists the punishment is essential to maintain public order.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted in 1966 and came into force in 1976. It has 167 state-parties.

© 2011 AFP

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