Joint Declaration by Canada and France

(No. 341 - October 20, 2010 - 1:15 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, and Bernard Kouchner, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France, made the following statement today concerning Canadian-Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who is detained in Iran. Mr. Derakhshan is a Canadian citizen and his companion is a French national.

“We are jointly requesting that the Iranian authorities release Canadian-Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, who may have been condemned by a lower court to 19.5 years in prison.

“The governments of Canada and France are very concerned that Hossein Derakhshan continues to be detained in solitary confinement in Iran, in violation of fundamental rights. His case, which constitutes an affront to freedom of expression and information, is a priority for both our governments.

“We are also asking Iran to recognize Mr. Derakhshan’s dual citizenship, in particular by guaranteeing consular access, in accordance with the Vienna conventions.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Melissa Lantsman
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874