Ambassador Bennett Condemns Detention of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi in Iran

July 24, 2013 - Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom, today issued the following statement:

“Canada strongly condemns the continued imprisonment of Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, a leading Shiite Muslim cleric, by the Iranian regime. Ayatollah Boroujerdi has reportedly been subjected to torture during his seven-year imprisonment in the Evin Prison in Tehran. He has been a critic of the Iranian regime’s heinous human rights violations. Ayatollah Boroujerdi is one among a large, untold number of Iranians in prison on politically motivated charges.

“We call for the provision of immediate medical treatment to Ayatollah Boroujerdi and his subsequent release from prison.

“The continued detention of critics of the regressive clerical, military dictatorship, such as Ayatollah Boroujerdi, demonstrates the Khamenei regime’s wanton disregard for religious freedom and human rights. Canada calls on the Iranian regime to respect its international obligations and cease the unlawful detention of dissidents and members of minority religious communities.

“Canada stands by all those Iranians who bravely speak out against grave violations of human rights and advocate freedom of religion.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
613-995-1874
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada