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Iran's Chief Justice Dismisses Human Rights Criticism, Upholds Sharia

Hardliner cleric Ebrahim Raeesi, the new head of the Iran's Judiciary was appointed by Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei on March 07, 2019.
Hardliner cleric Ebrahim Raeesi, the new head of the Iran's Judiciary was appointed by Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei on March 07, 2019.

Our ruling establishment is based on Shari'a, and in no way, we will ever give away our religious principles, the head of the Islamic Republic Judiciary has reacted to criticisms of Iran’s human rights violations.

Ebrahim Raeesi (Raisi), who was addressing Iran’s human rights supreme council, insisted that "implementing divine decrees" in the Islamic Republic is "beyond any discussion", and reports on the violation of human rights in Iran are "absolutely wrong and baseless."

Referring to the report recently presented by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Situation in Iran, Javaid Rehman, the Islamic Republic Judiciary chief said he was "surprised" that a Muslim (Rehman) has compiled a report without "paying attention to (Quran) verses, traditional comments attributed to Prophet Muhammad, and narratives left from Shi'ite Imams.

The UN Rapporteur has collected his data from "hostile" and "unhealthy" sources, the mid-ranking cleric asserted, adding, "The Rapporteur has compiled his report out of envy and hatred against the Islamic Republic."

British-Pakistani legal scholar and Professor of Islamic Law and International Law at Brunel University, Javaid Rehman, 42, was appointed as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Iran, on July 7, 2018. A month later, Rehman wrote to the Iranian Government expressing his interest in visiting the country. He said he had already received several reports raising concerns about alleged violations of human rights in the country. Tehran never responded to the request.

Rehman presented his latest report on the situation of human rights in Iran on October 23 to a select committee of the UN General Assembly.

In the report, Rehman explicitly asserted that he had found it "distressing" that Tehran continues using the death penalty, including executing minors.

Iran executed seven child offenders last year and another two so far this year although it is prohibited to apply the death penalty to anyone under age of eighteen, according to human rights law, Javaid Rehman told the UN's human rights committee.

Currently, there are ninety individuals on death row who are under age eighteen at the time of their offenses, Rehman said, and that as of mid-July, at least 173 executions were carried out, including two seventeen-year-old inmates, based on "conservative estimates."

The expert also noted that the execution rate in Iran is dropping, but still "remains one of the highest in the world."