Statement by Minister Cannon on Investigation into Post-Election Arrests in Iran

(No. 177 - June 25, 2009)The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding reports that Saaed Mortazavi is leading the investigation into those arrested in the post-election aftermath in Iran:

“We are deeply concerned by reports that Saaed Mortazavi has been put in charge of the investigation of detained reformist leaders and party officials in Iran. On several occasions, most notably the detention and murder of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi, Mr. Mortazavi has clearly demonstrated his disregard for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Two official Iranian government investigations confirmed that Mr. Mortazavi ordered the illegal arrest and detention of Ms. Kazemi, which led to her torture and death in June 2003. There have also been reports that Mr. Mortazavi falsified documents to cover up his involvement in her case.

“Canada continues to call upon Iran to conduct a credible investigation that will bring justice to those responsible for the murder of Ms. Kazemi.

“While we will not get involved in internal matters, Canada will continue to call for the release of all political prisoners and journalists—including Canadians—who have been unjustly detained following the Iranian presidential elections. We continue to call upon the Government of Iran to uphold all of its human rights obligations, both in law and in practice.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada