Ayatollah Larijani

The head of Iran’s judiciary has denounced the United Nation’s special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, saying Ahmad Shaheed’s report is all “lies.”

Iranian media report that Ayatollah Larijani said, during the third session on human rights, that Shaheed’s report “is all filled with lies and all the same erroneous reports, even though the rapporteur should be impartial.”

He noted that Shaheed has interviewed people who claim to have been victimized but added that the rapporteur should have heard both sides.

Shaheed published his first report on the state of human rights in Iran last September. He cited many instances of human rights violations: “the arrest of civil-society activists and the torture of prisoners; the widespread use of the death penalty; the lack of freedom of assembly, the disregard for the rights of women as well as ethnic and religious minorities, and the arrest of individuals for links to foreign institutions.”

Shaheed also expressed hope that Iranian authorities would relent in their refusal to let him enter the country so he could continue with his reporting.

Ayatollah Lairijani said the report refers to the Kahrizak Detention Centre, where many detained protesters were tortured and at least three were killed. Larijani stressed that the judge involved in this case has been suspended and the case is under investigation, which he claimed is not included in Shaheed’s report.

Ayatollah Larijani also criticized the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, saying it is far too focused on “liberal values.”

He said Iran has erroneously joined “some of these agreements” and stressed that basing human rights solely on liberal values is not acceptable.

He added that the West has always had a double standard in terms of human rights issues, and world powers have used that for political ends.