Canada Deeply Concerned for Safety of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and Other Prisoners in Iran

(No. 255 - August 12, 2010 - 8:20 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing Canada’s concern for the safety of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani and other prisoners in Iran and asking for compassion during this holy month of Ramadan:

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was forced to confess under duress to charges of murder and adultery on Iranian television. Canada deplores the manner in which the Iranian authorities have publicized the case by airing Ms. Ashtiani’s alleged confessions on television. Such treatment is degrading and amounts to public humiliation and an attempt to prejudge the outcome of legal cases. Canada again urges Iran to afford Ms. Ashtiani and other political prisoners fair and respectful treatment in accordance with international standards.

“Canada remains greatly concerned for the safety of Ms. Ashtiani and others in Iranian prisons on grounds of their religious, political or social beliefs. I am particularly worried about reports that Ms. Ashtiani may be facing imminent execution. Canada urges Iran to live up to its international and domestic human rights obligations.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada