Friday, December 11, 2009

Canada Blasts “Deteriorating” Human Rights Situation in Iran

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Canadian Foreign Ministry Website

Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon on Tuesday voiced concern over the human rights situation in Iran, and urged the Iranian authorities to respect the people’s freedom of expression. “Canada is deeply concerned by Iran’s deteriorating human rights situation, which has significantly worsened since Iran’s presidential election” in June, Cannon said in a statement issued late on Tuesday. The foreign minister noted the use of “intimidation and violence” by Iranian security forces against opposition protesters on 7 December. Security forces armed with batons and tear gas clashed with protesters in Tehran, who staged the largest anti-government protests in months on Monday, on the occasion of the annual Students Day. He described as “deplorable” the Iranian government’s “ongoing effort” to restrict freedom of expression and assembly. “The people of Iran deserve to have their voices heard and to enjoy the rights to which they are entitled,” the statement read. The foreign minister also expressed concern over the imminent execution of juvenile offender Mohammad Reza Haddadi. Haddadi, 21, was due to be executed in the southern city of Shiraz today. He was sentenced to death for a murder he allegedly committed when he was 15. “We once again call upon Iran to meet its human rights obligations, in law and practice,” said Cannon.