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    SWISS COMMISSION INSPECTS PRISONS IN IRAN

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    TEHRAN, February 29, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Nikolai Terekhov) - The Swiss commission on human rights has inspected prisons in Iran and found prison conditions quite acceptable, reports the Iranian foreign ministry.

    Iran and Switzerland have held the first stage of talks on human rights observance in Iran for the past two months in line with a relative bilateral agreement, reads a foreign ministry statement. (Human rights violations are among the series of accusations Washington is continuing to bring against the incumbent government of Iran. The United States is also accusing Iran of torpedoing the Middle East settlement process and of attempts to deploy nuclear weapons).

    A delegation of Swiss rights champions have met Iranian penitentiary officials and visited a range of prisons and labor camps in Tehran and Meshed, administrative center of the northeastern province of Horasan on the border with Afghanistan.

    The Swiss officials gave a positive assessment to the talks and hailed ongoing cooperation in this sphere and said guarding and prison conditions in Iran meet international standards, reads the statement.

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