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Calls for Iran To Sack Delegate To UN Rights Council

Said Mortazavi (file photo) (epa) PRAGUE, June 22, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Human Rights Watch has called on Iran to remove the controversial prosecutor-general of Tehran from its delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

The human rights group says numerous former prisoners have implicated Said Mortazavi in torture, illegal detention, and the coercion of false confessions.

Mortazavi is also suspected of involvement in the killing of the Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi.

Canadian Foreign Minister Peter MacKay has said in a statement that Mortazavi's presence in Iran's delegation demonstrates Tehran's complete contempt for internationally recognized principles of human rights.

The Paris-based International Human Rights Federation has also condemned the move in an open letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, and officials on the UN's top body, the Security Council.