Monday, August 02, 2004

Canada springs into action

Iranian writer Samira Mohyeddin has a nobly indignant editorial about the unpunished beating death of a Canadian-Iranian photographer while being interrogated in a Tehran jail. Her crime? Taking pictures of student protesters against the Islamic theocracy.

The Kazemi verdict is in and no one is guilty. No one is guilty for the seventy-two hour detention, torture, and killing of a Canadian photojournalist.

The official story from Iran is almost as absurd, as it is puzzling. First, Kazemi had a brain attack. Second, she was hit on the head. Third, she had low blood pressure, because she was on a hunger strike and, as a result, fell down.

On Wednesday July 28, 2004, more than a year after her death, Iran's judiciary proclaimed, "that the incident leading to the death of the late Kazemi was because of a drop in her blood sugar level caused by a hunger strike, thus making her fall from a standing position and get hurt."

Her son, in Canada, has called for the government there to do something, anything, in reaction to the murder of one of its citizens. Finally, the government has decided what to do:

Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew ... hinted at further legal or diplomatic steps to put pressure on Iran, saying the Canadian government is "reviewing its options." But he stopped short of announcing any concrete initiatives.

One suggestion is that Ottawa take the case to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

Good friggin' luck there, neighbor.

Mohyeddin has a clearer sense of indignation about this:

The truth is that a Canadian photojournalist was illegally detained, beaten, tortured, and killed. For Canada to continue its fruitless engagement with the Islamic Republic of Iran is not only non-sensical, but also disingenuous. It was a Canadian that penned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, a declaration that the Iranian government is a signatory to, and Canada must occupy a prominent role in its enforcement.