Strong, principled action

Lawrence Cannon, todayThe reasons behind our decision to boycott may be obvious, but are nonetheless worth repeating. Firstly, Iran has violated the human rights of its own citizens and foreign nationals, including Canadians Maziar Bahari (by unjustifiably detaining him) and Zahra Kazemi (whose death remains unexplained). This recently also has been demonstrated in its violent response against protestors following the fraudulent presidential election.

Michael Petrou, Nov. 20, 2008Vafaseresht, a man who surely would have been a valuable witness and source of information for any legal case Canada might compile against Saeed Mortazavi, hasn’t been in touch with any Canadian diplomats or government officials since. It’s a stunning oversight, if one assumes that Stephen Harper was sincere when he said that Canada had not “dropped” the matter of Kazemi’s murder. But the available evidence suggests that Canada still isn’t serious about building a case against Mortazavi. Maclean’s interviewed Shahram Azam, a former staff physician in Iran’s Defence Ministry, who examined Kazemi four days after her arrest and found evidence of torture. Azam, who now lives in Canada and is willing to testify against Mortazavi, says no one from the Canadian government has contacted him about Kazemi since he arrived more than three years ago. Rodney Moore, a spokesman at Foreign Affairs, said that Canada did not consider the Kazemi case resolved but could not confirm if there is an ongoing investigation or extradition request, nor could a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.