Canada Deplores Reports of Imminent Execution in Iran

(No. 351 – November 2, 2010 – 9 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today responded to reports that the International Committee against Execution has received information that Iranian authorities have authorized the execution of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.

“Canada is deeply concerned by reports that Ms. Ashtiani may be sentenced to death by hanging on Wednesday, November 3, 2010,” said Minister Cannon. “We are also concerned by Ms. Ashtiani’s ongoing detention, harassment by judicial authorities and denial of due process, as well as by the use of false or coerced confessions in her trial. Ms. Ashtiani has been in jail since 2006 and has received 99 lashes.”

Ms. Ashtiani was initially convicted of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. This charge was later changed to murder, and she was condemned to death by hanging. The international community strongly condemned the death by stoning sentence and continues to follow Ms. Ashtiani’s case closely.

“We once again urge the Government of Iran to reverse the trend of the deterioration of its human rights situation and to meet its legal obligations,” said Minister Cannon. “These include ensuring due process for all those that have been detained.”

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Jacques Labrie
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Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada