[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM Persian]

 

[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]

 

[Adapted from website:] Fars News Agency

[Date:] 2 Ordibehesht 1384 [22 April 2005]

 

Mohammad-Javad Larijani: 80% of Violations in the View of the Human Rights Commission are Related to The Iranian Judiciary

…According to Fars News Agency, yesterday, Mohammad-Javad Larijani spoke at the first conference of judges of Tehran, entitled “Human Rights and the New Challenges of the Islamic World” and pointed out the human rights challenges raised by the UN Commission on Human Rights against Iran. He said, “The origin of these challenges has a completely legal basis and is based on the international laws that we have signed, and the violator they have named is 80% related to the way the judiciary acts...”

Larijani did not consider the alleged violations of which Europeans [accuse] Iran to be accidental violations in the judiciary, like those that a city judge may commit. He said, “Their claim is [to be expected]; for example, one of the cases of human rights violation, of which human rights institutions around the world accuse us, is the issue of converting Islam to Baha’ism.”

He added, “According to Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to declare in private and in public that he has accepted a new religion and to propagate it, and should not be pressured for doing this. However, this is not in accordance with our laws. As a result, these countries are telling us, ‘You are not adhering to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and you are inherently in violation.’ For this reason, they have considered punitive mechanisms, including all kinds of sanctions, for our country.”

He added, “Another issue considered by human rights organizations in the discussion of human rights violations in Iran is the impossibility of freedom of expression. For example, they say that [we] have blocked the speech of some intellectuals among students and political activists.”

Larijani added, “The claim of human rights claimants is not only based on political motives and hostility, but has a legal basis that we cannot easily reject.” ...