UN Authority Figures

UN General Assembly Sixth Committee, the Legal Committee, Vice-Chair: Iran
Term begins September 15, 2009

"Justice" in Iran includes death by hanging. Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi sits blindfolded on the ground before he is hanged, surrounded by Iranian security personnel. (AP Photo, February 19, 2007)

Mission of the Sixth Committee, the Legal Committee, of the General Assembly: "The Sixth Committee is the primary forum for the consideration of legal questions in the General Assembly." (General Assembly - Legal Committee web-site, "Sixth Committee")

Term of office: 2009-2010

Iran's Record on legal questions:
"[T]he court system was corrupt and subject to government and religious influence...[T]he head of the judiciary shall be a cleric chosen by the supreme leader. The head of the Supreme Court and prosecutor general also must be clerics. Women continued to be barred from serving as certain types of judges...Defendants did not have the right to confront their accusers, and were not granted access to government-held evidence...Revolutionary court judges were chosen in part due to their ideological commitment to the system. Authorities often charged individuals with undefined crimes, such as "antirevolutionary behavior," "moral corruption," and "siding with global arrogance."...Secret or summary trials of only five minutes' duration occurred frequently. Other trials were deliberately designed to publicize a coerced confession..." (US State Department's Country Report on Human Rights Practices 2008, Iran)