Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Peter Mackay-Stephen Harper-Ayatollah Mohammad Khatami

Honorable Peter Mackay
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada
Email: peter.mackay@international.gc.ca
Faxes: 613 9963443 or 613- 9431054

The Honorable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Email: pm@pm.gc.ca
Fax: 613-9416900

Organization For Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom For IRAN

1 September 2006
His Excellency Peter Mackay
Minister of Foreign Affairs

Re: Zahra Kazemi's Torture and Death in Evin Prison Iran

Dear Mr. Foreign Minister,

Mrs. Zahra Kazemi, a 54 year old Iranian born Canadian citizen was arrested in Tehran , Iran July 11 , 2003 on charges of taking pictures of the demonstrators outside Evin prison. She had just arrived in Iran as a foreign journalist accredited by Iran 's Ministry of Guidance, to prepare a series of reports on Iranian affairs.

ON July 27, 2003 she died in custody. Dr. Shahram Azam, the Military doctor who examined her upon arrival at hospital and who now lives in Canada has stated that he found that she had been " beaten, tortured and raped savagely”. He says " there were horrendous injuries on her body ranging from a broken nose to a ruptured ear drum, lash marks and evidence of brutal sexual assault."

At the time of Mrs. Zahra Kazemi's arrest, torture and brutal murder Mr. Mohammad Khatami was President of Iran. Of course hers is by far the only such case during his 8 years Presidency. A few of the other similar, and even still worst cases of murder, torture and disappearances that come to mind are the brutal killings of Dariush and Parvaneh Forouhar's, the notorious serial killings of Mohammad Mokhtari, Mohammad Poyandeh etc.

Mrs. Zahra Kazemi’s arrest, torture and brutal murder happened during the time when cleric Mohammad Khatami was President of Iran. Notwithstanding his smiling face and public front of the so called " dialogue of civilizations" which he carries for outside consumption, Mr. Khatami did nothing to stop arbitrary arrests and systematic torture and killings, during his 8 years of office. You may recall that in 1999 he acted brutally against peaceful student demonstrations, which had been caused by police brutalities at a student dormitory in Tehran. In the course of three days of student demonstrations which followed, all over the country, under his orders, more than 20 students, mostly in Tabriz and Tehran died and aroun1500 were imprisoned and tortured. MR. Ahmad Batebi, and Manouchehr Mohammadi and many others are still in prison and being tortured. Mr. Akbar Mohammadi another one of the student leaders died under torture just about a month ago. The one single individual who orders all these atrocities to be carried out in Iran today is Saeed Mortazavi. He was a Revolutionary Court Judge who was promoted during Mr. Khatami's term of Office to become Prosecutor General of Tehran.

As for his background, cleric Mohammad Khatami, right from the first day of 1978 revolution, was among the top collaborators of Khomeini. In 1980 he was "elected" as a Member of the first Parliament of Islamic Republic (from Meibod and Ardakan province). In 1981 Khomeini appointed him as Head of Keyhan journalism school. During Iran/Iraq war he served as the deputy Head of Joint Command of the Armed Forces and as Chairman of War Propaganda Headquarters. Between 1982-1988 he served at the same time as the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance -also responsible for affairs of the press and censorship. Between 1989-1992 he served in the same capacity in Hashemi Rafsanjani's Government. Towards the mid 1993 (Rafsanjani's second term) he was appointed as Cultural Advisor to the President and the Head of National Library. In 1996 Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme leader appointed him as a Member of the High Council for Cultural Revolution. He was elected as the President of Islamic Republic in May 1997 and served in that capacity until May 2005.

Excellency, Mr. Mohammad Khatami will be in the United States in 2 or three days time. Can the Canadian Government do with him what Spain did in the case of Augusto Pinochet when he was visiting Britain a few years ago? This would provide the Canadian Government with a unique opportunity to bring at least one of the participants of the torture and murder of a Canadian citizen Mrs. Zahra Kazemi to justice. I believe in view of the above it is incumbent upon the Canadian Government to seek the arrest and extradition of Mr. Mohammad Khatami from the United States to stand trial for the crimes that he has been a party to.

For further background and a chronicle of the crimes committed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, under Mr. Khatami et al, please visit www.iri-crimes.de.

Please accept Excellency the assurances of my highest respects and considerations.

Manouchehr Ganji
Secretary- General, Organization for Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms for Iran


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