- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 18, 2005

IRAN

Judiciary cancels Ebadi summons

TEHRAN — Iran’s judiciary conceded yesterday that a Revolutionary Court summons for Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi was illegal and said the matter would be dropped.

But judiciary spokesman Jamal Karimirad denied Mrs. Ebadi’s accusation that Iran holds detainees in solitary confinement.

Mrs. Ebadi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, defied the Revolutionary Court on Sunday by refusing to obey a summons asking her to appear without giving a reason. The court could have ordered her arrest.

Mrs. Ebadi said the summons was illegal and that the Revolutionary Court system had no legal justification 26 years after the Islamic Revolution. At a press conference yesterday, Mr. Karimirad said, “True, the reason for the summons was not stated. Legal provisions insist that the reason for a summons be stated.”

LEBANON

Border incidents worry U.N. official

BEIRUT — The U.N. representative in southern Lebanon, Staffan de Mistura, said yesterday that he was “very concerned” by a flare-up in violence along the border with Israel.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Lebanon’s Hezbollah militia on Monday were “the second serious incident in the space of eight days in violation” of the border demarcated by the United Nations, he said.

A Hezbollah bomb damaged an Israeli bulldozer that was being used to clear mines, he said. Two Lebanese civilians were wounded in retaliatory fire by Israeli artillery and aircraft.

On Jan. 9, a French U.N. officer, an Israeli soldier and a Hezbollah fighter were killed in exchanges of fire between the militia and Israeli forces.

Mr. de Mistura urged “all parties to exercise maximum restraint after these violations” and stressed that “one violation does not justify another.”

Weekly notes

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said yesterday that there was a risk of U.S.-orchestrated fraud in Iraq’s Jan. 30 elections, state press reported. “The second threat … is a coup and the rise of another dictator,” Ayatollah Khamenei added, calling for Iraqis “to remain vigilant in these historic hours.” … The prophet Muhammad’s admiration for the Christian monks of his time indirectly may have caused the quick release Tuesday of Mosul Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa by his Muslim abductors. “According to [Islamic] tradition, Muhammad instructed the faithful not to harm monks,” said Christine Schirrmacher, president of the Islamic Studies Institute in Bonn. Archbishop Casmoussa leads the Syrian Catholic Church in northern Iraq. The denomination’s bishops are monks, like those of all Eastern-rite churches.

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