Canada Condemns Violent Crackdown on Peaceful Demonstrations in Iran

(No. 66 - February 15, 2011 - 2:45 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the repression of demonstrators in Iran yesterday:

"Canada is deeply concerned by the violence perpetrated by Iranian authorities against peaceful protestors in Tehran. The hypocrisy of Iranian authorities’ calls for democracy in Egypt and suppression of the same demands in Iran is deeply disturbing.

"Iranians gathered by the thousands to march in support of recent events in Egypt. The use of tear gas, batons and pepper spray against them by Iranian security forces was a gross violation of their rights to free expression and assembly. Iranian citizens should be free to express their political views and affiliations without fear of punishment or imprisonment.

"Calls from Iranian politicians for the execution of protestors are unacceptable. Canada calls upon the Iranian authorities to allow for peaceful gatherings and to immediately release any protestors who are being unjustifiably detained.

"Canada will continue to take Iran to task for its continued flagrant violations of human rights and freedoms of expression and association."

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Lynn Meahan
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
Follow us on Twitter.