CJFE calls on Canadian Government to Impose Diplomatic Sanctions Against Iran

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) called upon Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to take the strongest possible action in response to the Iranian government's unwillingness to see that justice is done in the case of murdered photojournalist Zahra Kazemi. CJFE is calling on the Canadian government to impose substantial diplomatic sanctions including the withdrawal of accreditation from senior Iranian diplomats based in Canada. CJFE also called on the Minister to immediately pursue Ms. Kazemi's case with the International Court of Justice (ICJ). CJFE believes that the new Minister of Foreign Affairs should make this case his top priority and ensure that justice is done, for Ms. Kazemi and for her family. "Canada must not hide behind political rhetoric any longer," said Arnold Amber, President of CJFE. "It is past time that the government of Canada recognise that the government in Tehran is unable and unwilling to end the impunity of the murderers of Zahra Kazemi." It has been more than a year since the tragic death of Zahra Kazemi, a year which has culminated with an acquittal in what many have denounced as a 'sham trial' of Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, charged with murdering Kazemi. It has been a long year in which we have watched the various factions of the Iranian government engage in a feud over where the blame would be apportioned, and who would be chosen as scapegoat. In that year, the corruption and ineffectiveness of the Iranian regime has been put on display to the world. The Canadian government has been vocal in its outrage over the prosecution of this case but now is the time for action. While the Iranian government is looking for a whitewash, we hope that the Canadian government will deliver on in responsibilities to its citizens. CJFE is an association of more than 300 journalists, editors, publishers, producers, students and others who work to promote and defend free expression and press freedom in Canada and around the world. For more information, contact Julie Payne at (416) 515-9622 or e-mail:jpayne@cjfe.org

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