The Commonsense Corrections Society has sent a delegation to Iran to learn more about the Iranian justice system.
The group, led by founder and spokesperson Arthur McGee, arrived in Tehran yesterday.
McGee said he had long admired the Iranians, and was looking forward to visiting some of Iran’s corrections facilities.
“New Zealand could learn a lot from the tough measures taken by Iranian authorities against criminals and other scumbags”, said Mr McGee.
McGee was asked about recent media reports on the death sentence handed down to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani. Ashtiani was convicted of adultery and sentenced to death in 2008. She had been previously sentenced to receive 99 lashes, but was subsequently charged with her husband’s murder. Though she was acquitted of his murder, her sentence for adultery (which had already been carried out) was then changed to death by stoning.
“If this had happened in little old New Zealand, they probably wouldn’t have even charged her,” said McGee.
“In fact, they would probably have given this woman a medal.“
Ashtiani has claimed that, while she confessed to adultery, her confession was extracted by means of torture. Amnesty International and other human rights groups have organised petitions and protests against her treatment .
But McGee rejects criticism of Iran’s justice system.
“It takes a great deal of courage in these politically correct times to do what’s right. The police do a difficult job, and it isn’t helped by our constant criticism and questioning. It’s the same in our country. Let’s give them the tools they need to do the job.
“Look, nobody forced this woman to confess to anything. If she was innocent she could have just held her tongue as they tortured her, and threatened to kill her children and do all sorts of unspeakable things to her. She made the choice.”
McGee admitted that the Iranian system was less than perfect.
“It was disappointing to hear that the liberals and do-gooders managed to get the stoning sentence changed to a mere hanging. That sends the wrong message to criminals and ratbags who might be thinking of doing things that I personally disapprove of and so demand the ultimate penalty for.
“But I like the way judges over here can just make any old thing up if they decide they really don’t like someone. We could learn a lot from the Iranians.”
The group will spend ten days in Iran, before joining a delegation to Saudi Arabia being led by ACT Party MP Gary Mansard.