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Bring Saeed Malekpour Home


Remarks of Hon. David Kilgour
Rally at Iranian embassy
Ottawa
10 Feb. 2011

Ms. Fatima Eftkekhari (wife of Saeed), ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you to all who came from Toronto and Montreal for the events today on Parliament Hill and here at the embassy of Iran.

Saeed is a permanent Canadian resident, who has been imprisoned in Iran's notorious Evin prison since 2008 on internet-related charges.

He has endured much physical and psychological torture by interrogators for the purpose of extracting false confessions. His sentence was execution.

He wrote a letter from prison describing inhuman torture he has faced: lashings, threats of sexual assault, and interrogation sessions that resulted in broken teeth, a displaced jaw, bodily infections, and bouts of paralysis. (http://bit.ly/hu6HFa)

He has not been provided with any opportunity to defend himself from the charge laid against him. It is becoming increasingly clear that this will never come. Strong evidence suggests that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has predetermined his fate. Iran is a vitally important country. Its culture is thousands of years old; it has a long-suffering population of about 70 million, with almost two-thirds under the age of 30. Iranians increasingly should be distinguished from the regime in Tehran.

Human Dignity

Iran now has the highest number of executions per capita in the world. More than 2000 death sentences were handed down last year alone, with approximately 160 children now on death row. More than 3000 Afghan refugees are awaiting execution; more than 32 Iranians are waiting to be stoned to death; the highest number of journalists in detention exists in Iran; human rights activists and defense attorneys face daily intimidation.

The regime is intensifying the persecution of its people for their faiths. The Iranian parliament adopted a mandatory death penalty for "apostasy." Among its primary targets is the gentle Bahaíi community. Most of those prosecuted for apostasy are Muslims. Here outside the Iranian embassy, we are also united in protesting the recent wave of arbitrary, illegal, and inhumane executions carried across Iran. Supporters will also lend their voice to the voiceless prisoners waiting to face the gallows.

From December 20, 2010 to January 30, 2011 alone, the Islamic Republic of Iran has executed over 118 individuals while many more sit on death row. In recent years, Iran has had the highest rate of executions per capita in the world.

Conclusion

Prime Minister Harper himself must take a firm stance against the execution sentence issued by the Iranian judiciary to Saeed, asking the government of Iran immediately to:

  • commute the death sentence,
  • investigate the allegations he has made about torture in prison, and
  • disallow any forced confession used against him at trial,

Letís bring Saeed back home to his Fatima, who just spoke to us, so they may resume their already established life in Canada.

The Canadian government has made efforts to address Iranís gross and systematic civil rights abuses. Canada is among the major sponsors of the United Nations resolution on Iranís human rights violations.

Thank you.

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