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Friday, 6 December 1985
Page: 3243

(Question No. 712)

Senator Bolkus asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 28 November:

(1) What action can be taken by the Australian Government to request the removal of death penalties on Raziyedden Taban, Anoushirvan Lotfi or any member of the Organisation of Iranian People's Fedaian (Majority) or of the People's Party of Iran (Tudeh).

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) The Government is aware of reports, including in the most recent report of Amnesty International, of heavy penalties being imposed against members of political opposition parties in Iran. It views such reports with deep concern.

The Australian Government has no direct knowledge of the two specific death penalties referred to by the honourable senator. The Australian Embassy in Tehran has been requested to seek information about these two people.

The Australian Government takes a forthright stand on human rights violations wherever they occur. As a member of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Australia has supported resolutions expressing concern about human rights issues in Iran and encouraging the Government of Iran to co-operate with United Nations investigatory procedures.