News Special Wire Rally in Canada against state murder in Iran

Rally in Canada against state murder in Iran

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Iran Focus: Ottawa, Apr. 02 – Iranians residing in Canada held a rally in front of the Foreign Ministry headquarters yesterday in response to an expatriate Iranian doctor’s testimony which has shed new light on the 2003 state murder of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist. Demonstrators who were rallied by the Committee for Defence of Human Rights in Iran called for an end to Canada’s diplomatic relations with the … Iran Focus

Ottawa, Apr. 02 – Iranians residing in Canada held a rally in front of the Foreign Ministry headquarters yesterday in response to an expatriate Iranian doctor’s testimony which has shed new light on the 2003 state murder of Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist.

Demonstrators who were rallied by the Committee for Defence of Human Rights in Iran called for an end to Canada’s diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime and demanded the prosecution of Iran’s clerical leadership in the International Criminal Court.

They held banners reading, “Leaders of the mullahs’ regime must be tried for crimes against humanity”, and large portraits of Ms. Kazemi.

They waved Iranian flags and carried placards with the picture of the Iranian Resistance’s President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, who had called for action on the part of the international community to bring the perpetrators of Ms. Kazemi’s death-under-torture to justice.

Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin yesterday said that following the new account by Dr. Shahram Azam, the international community had to hold Iran to account for her murder.

“I think there’s no doubt whether you are talking about international courts or whether you are talking about the UN Commission on Human Rights”, Mr. Martin said.

Dr. Azam, an Iranian emergency-room physician, was present at Tehran’s Baghiattulah hospital when Ms. Kazemi was brought in four days after her arrest outside the notorious Evin prison. Ms. Kazemi was arrested for taking photographs of a demonstration by mothers of political prisoners outside the prison.

He described Ms. Kazemi’s condition in the days before her death, the first by a medical eye-witness, confirming that she was brutally tortured.

“Her entire body carried strange marks of violence”, Dr. Azam said. “She had a big bruise on the right side of her forehead stretching down to the ear. The ear drum was intact, but the membrane in one of her ears had recently burst, and a loose blood vessel could be seen. Behind the head, on the left-hand side, was a big, loose swelling. Three deep scratches behind her neck looked like the result of nails digging into the flesh. The right shoulder was bruised, and on the left hand two fingers were broken. Three fingers had broken nails or no nails”.

Dr. Azam accounted severe abdominal bruising, “stretching over the thigh down to the knees”. Dr. Azam’s emergency-room nurse thoroughly examined Ms. Kazemi and found the bruising to be the result of “a very brutal rape”.

“The backs of both legs where the skin had come off indicated flogging, five marks on one leg and seven on the other. The big toe on the left leg was crushed”, he added.

“I would certainly think the details of what happened to her now in the testimony that has been brought has got to make the world aware of just what Iran is all about and that they have got to be held to account”, Mr. Martin said.

In Ottawa on Thursday, Ms. Kazemi’s son, Stephan Hachemi, also vowed to continue the fight for justice. “It’s hard to describe what I feel and I refuse to just go down on my emotions and cry”, Mr. Hachemi told reporters. He called on Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew to deliver “action” rather than words.

A delegation from the demonstrators yesterday met with the head of Foreign Ministry’s Iran Branch, presenting a letter from the Committee for Defence of Human Rights in Iran to Mr. Pettigrew.

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