Mullahs' "Political Crimes" bill intended to expand repression, institutionalize inquisition

Iran's state television reported last night that the judiciary had ratified the "Political Crimes and Their Prosecution" bill and sent it to the cabinet.

Commenting on the bill, Dr. Sanabargh Zahedi, Chairman of the NCR Committee on Judiciary, said: "The bill is replete with generalized, vague and ambiguous language, listing as political crimes activities such as 'exacerbating discord among the people,' 'spreading rumors,' 'generating public anxiety through statements, declarations and news bulletins,' 'establishing contacts with foreign political parties,' and 'giving interviews to foreign mass media and press at any level.' With such legislation, the mullahs intend to step up repression to an unprecedented level and institutionalize as laws the medieval inquisition that they have imposed on Iran."

"There could not be a more brazen attempt to turn into legislation such flagrant violations of the letter and spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The mullahs intend to enlist as 'political crimes' acts that are not regarded as criminal in any other country's legal system and legislation," Dr. Zahedi said.

"In the aftermath of the tumultuous uprising of the people of Tehran and other major Iranian cities that shook the clerical regime to its foundations, the ruling mullahs now intend to terrorize the public through not only mass arrests and increased presence of security forces, but also through new repressive legislation such as this one. The aim is to stem the rise of antigovernment uprising and public protests," the NCR judiciary chairman said.

"The new bill in no way changes the mullahs' judicial procedures, namely the denial of the political identity of the regime's opponents and dissidents and the deprivation of their political and social rights. The bill in fact places outside the definition of 'political offenders' and treats as 'common criminals' all those who engage in any activity against the regime with political motivation or are in any way linked to the opponents of the ruling religious dictatorship and wish to see democracy and democratic rule in Iran," Dr. Zahedi said. "The mullahs thus want to continue their crimes against political opponents and prisoners with immunity from international scrutiny and consequences. This is what the regime has done in the past two decades in the case of half a million political detainees," the NCR official added.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
August 3, 1999

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