Iran seen as evasive, legalistic at UN rights panel

GENEVA - Iran avoided the most difficult questions at a long-awaited appearance before the UN Human Rights Committee, members said on Thursday, with Iranian officials failing to respond or hiding behind long-winded legalese.
"For some questions they were embarrassed and they didn't answer, especially when I raised the question of the death penalty, they didn't answer," committee member Christine Chanet said at a news conference.
"When I asked about stoning there was no answer at all about this question," added Chanet, a French judge and rights expert.
The UN watchdog, composed of 18 independent experts, voiced concern at "continuing reports of harassment or intimidation, prohibition and forceful breaking up of demonstrations, and arrests and arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders" in the Islamic Republic.
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