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Proposal To Separate Prisons From Judiciary Fails In Iran

Ahmad Reza Jalali a Swedish-Iranian doctor who is a political prisoner in Iran; before his arrest (L) and in prison.

Iranian parliament’s legal affairs commission has decided not to separate the country’s prison system from the Judiciary, a proposed reform that could have helped legal and humanitarian protection for prisoners.

Iran’s Judiciary is only accountable to the Supreme Leader and has often violated even Iran’s laws and constitutional rights in dealing with detainees. The head of the Judiciary is appointed by the Supreme Leader, who is not an elected official and in practice not accountable to anyone.

The motion presented to the commission was to attach the prison system to the Justice Ministry, which is accountable to the president but does not control the court system and is just a bureaucracy acting as a liaison between the Judiciary and the presidential administration.

The spokesperson of the parliamentary commission Hassan Norouzi, who announced the decision, also said that parliament will create a judicial commission to supervise prisons.

According to Norouzi, a taskforce will be set up to write regulations about the operations of the supervisory commission.

The situation of political prisoners is specially worrisome in Iran, where they rarely face a fair trial and cannot complain to any legal entity for the treatment they receive in prisons.