Mullahs' officials admit torture, extra-judicial arrests

In remarks published yesterday by a number of state-controlled dailies, Mohammad Hossein Ziaifar, secretary for "the Islamic Human Rights" Commission, admitted "the use of torture and cruel treatment to extract confession from detainees and the existence of secret detention centers run by different government agencies, including the State Security Forces, the Ministry of Intelligence, the Judiciary and the Armed Forces."

He also acknowledged that many people have been refused information on the fate of their family members abducted by Intelligence Ministry agents or by other suppressive organs.

These admissions by Ziaifar, a Judiciary official and responsible for execution, torture and suppression in Iran, reflect the abysmal state of human rights in Iran and render hollow all the propaganda about improvement in the human rights situation, "civil society" and the "rule of law." They are also reminiscent of the shah's last few months in power, when fearing the regime's overthrow, his government officials were trying to distance themselves from the atrocities perpetrated by the SAVAK.

In a letter to Ms. Mary Robinson, the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights and to other international human rights organs, NCR's Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Mohammad Mohaddessin wrote: "Ziaifar's acknowledgments bespeak of only a glimpse of the crimes committed in the mullahs' medieval prisons. They only add to the need to condemn the flagrant and systematic human rights abuses in Iran and remove any pretexts or illusions about "improvement in the situation of human rights in Iran." He urged them not to allow human rights to fall victim to economic dealings between Western countries and the ruling theocracy which has entered its last phase.

Mohammad Yazdi, the Head of the Judiciary and President of the "Islamic Human Rights Commission, and a number of its members, Hossein Mehrpour, also a member of Council of Guardians; Ali Akbar Velayati, the ex-Foreign Minister; Ghorban-Ali Dorri Najafabadi, the Intelligence Minister; and Ali Razini, the head of Tehran's Military Tribunal and the Special Court for the Clergy, are among officials responsible for suppression, torture and murder of the Iranian people in the last 19 years.

For his part, Ziaifar, the Commission's secretary, has repeatedly accused international human rights organizations and even the UN Special Representative on Iran, Professor Maurice Danby Copithorne, of "comparing Islamic values in our religious society with the values of Western countries. They have not yet come to terms with the fact that human rights in a religious society is implemented on the basis of Islamic values and not Western values."

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 21, 1998

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