Sunday, July 24, 2011

Islamic Republic Is Breaking It's Own Laws

Which is better?
Bad laws or no laws?

Reformers such as Mousavi, Karroubi or ex-president Khatami said several times, the Constitution of the Islamic Republic has the potential for solving many current problems facing the country. They urged the government to adhere to the laws, e.g. after the fraud presidential elections of 2009 or later, when Ahmadinejad's government was beating up the peaceful Tehran protesters.  

Question: Are such politicians trying to protect the Islamic Republic? Is it just a political games by reformers and non-reformers to weaken Ahmadinejad's team? Or is the constitution of Islamic Republic having some potential for solving the problems? 


The reality is that not only reformers often repeat that the regime in Tehran is breaking its own laws. Iranian lawyers such as Narin Sotoudeh and Mohammad Ali Dadkhah explained very often that their clients were illegally arrested. Nasrin Sotoudeh is spending her days in jail, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Many political prisoners claim, they were illegally arrested. 

It is worthwhile to look at some of the laws of Islamic Republic. Many activists of the Green Movement haven't read the constitution and are content to say "it is the Islamic Republic, what do you await?". Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic is trying with all of it's power to tell the world, political prisoners broke the Iranian laws and were criminals. Remember all the Interviews of Ahmadinejad with the international press and how he tries to claim that the protesters are the law breakers. Or Mohammad Javad Larijani's (head of the human rights council in the judiciary and a top adviser to the supreme leader) trips to Switzerland to defend Islamic Republic's judiciary policy. Unfortunately, the interviewers couldn't ask Ahmadinejad the appropriate questions in such cases, because they were not familiar with Iranian laws. How could they know about it? Had the Green Movement activist write in English about it? Yes. Did they focus on that? No, the reality is that the most of them didn't even want to talk or think about it. They thought, Islamic Republic will soon be kicked out and we will write our democratic, human rights based constitution ourselves. The potentials of the current laws were not important those days because we wanted a better constitution. Older activists such as Ezatollah Sahabi tried to tell us, our wishes wouldn't be realized in short time, but we didn't want to believe.


***
For a better understanding, let us take a short look at the constitution of the Islamic Republic and the case of Hoda Saber. Let us talk with some facts. 


Article 32
No person may be arrested except according to and in the manner laid down in the law. If someone is detained, the subject matter of the charge, with reasons (for bringing it), must immediately be communicated and explained in writing to the accused. Within at most 24 hours the file on the case and preliminary documentation must be referred to the competent legal authority. Legal procedures must be initiated as early as possible. Anyone infringing this principle will be punished in accordance with the law.

Article 37
Innocence is the basic principle No person is considered legally guilty, except in cases where his guilt is established in a competent court. 

Hoda Saber was the activist who has died on hunger strike. He spent ten months in prison without any trial. He was arrested without a warrant and he was not told why he was arrested [1]. In addition, he was tortured before his death (read more here).  


Torture. Is actually torturing allowed by the law of the "holy regime"?


Article 38
Any kind of torture used to extract an admission of guilt or to obtain information is forbidden. Compelling people to give evidence, or confess or take an oath is not allowed. Such evidence or confession or oath is null and void. Any person infringing this principle is to be punished in accordance with the law.

Many laws in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic may not be up to date. Still, I think it is obvious that if the government was to stick to it, our problems would be less. Hoda Saber would still be alive, torturers of the Islamic Republic would be in jail. He is an example for many Iranians being mistreated illegally.


foot note
for more research you can find an English translation of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic here

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