Minister Cannon Calls in Top Iranian Diplomat to Express Concern Over Continued Detention of Canadian Journalist Maziar Bahari

(No. 192 - July 9, 2009)(Modification) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the continued detention of Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari:

“Canada reaffirms the statement today by the G8 leaders condemning the unjustified detention of journalists and others. Canada is gravely concerned about the continuing detention of Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari, and by the Iranian regime’s disregard for basic human rights, including freedom of expression.

“Mr. Bahari is a professional and experienced journalist who was doing his job covering an important and difficult story.

“This week, I called in the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Ottawa to urge Iranian authorities to release Mr. Bahari and reiterated Canada’s demand for immediate consular access, full legal rights and protection for Mr. Bahari, as well as clarification of the allegations against him.

“The Government of Canada has also again made representations to the authorities in Tehran, and will continue to press Iran for action in resolving this case.

“Canada urges Iran to fully respect all of its human rights obligations, in law and in practice. We continue to support freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law in Iran.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874
international.gc.ca