چهارشنبه ۱ آذر ۱۳۹۶ تهران ۲۱:۰۳
HUMAN RIGHTS: Judiciary Blocks Canadian Observers from Slain Journalist's Death in Custody Trial
The Islamic government’s judiciary blocked Canadian observers from the tiral of an intelligence ministry agent in the death in custody of Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, Canada’s foreign affairs minister said. July 13, 2004 - “We assume their intention is not to accept observers,” Canada’s foreign affairs minister Bill Graham said in an interview on Monday. The Islamic government officials “were supposed to get back to us last weekend, “They haven't gotten back to us,” he said.
The trial of intelligence ministry official Mohammad-Reza Aqdam-Ahmadi is scheduled to begin on Saturday, and the judiciary has four more days to admit Canadian observers.
“You are aware that progress in the Kazemi case has an impact on relations between our two countries,” Graham warned in a letter to foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi. “We will regard the handling of the trial as a signal of the depth of the Government of Iran's commitment to human rights,” he added.
“We do consider this extremely important,” Graham said in an interview, responding to criticism from Kazemi’s son, Stephan Hachemi, who said on the anniversary of his mother’s killing that the Canadian government has not done enough to bring his mother’s body back to Canada for autopsy.
“It’s a high-profile case,” Graham said. “It's a matter of journalistic freedom. It's a matter of human rights in Iran.” He accused the Islamic government of stonewalling on Kazemi’s case.
Graham’s letter and interviews were the latest indication of worsening of Canada-Iran relations, a year after Kazemi, 54, died of head injuries, which according to a presidential investigative commission of cabinet ministers, were inflicted during an interrogation in the Evin prison. Kazemi had been arrested outside the prison for taking pictures of prisoners’ families gathered outside.
The agent going on trial on Saturday was one of the men who detained Kazemi. He is charged with “semi involuntary manslaughter.”
Human rights organizations, including Paris-based Reporters sans Frontiers charged that the defendant is a scapegoat preventing higher officials involved in the case from going on trial.