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March 31, 2005 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Rape, Torture, and Lies An ongoing Canadian saga has a sad new twist today: photojournalist Ziba Zahra Kazemi was likely brutally tortured and raped before her death in Iran in 2003. Arrested after a demonstration, the official Iranian line has been that her death was an accident due to injuries from a fall. The ER doctor who treated her has now spoken out, after being granted refugee status in Canada. Wikipedia has an excellent outline of the entire story.
posted by livii (65 comments total)

 
This is an appalling story. I've just finished writing yet another letter to my MP to ask why Canadian organizations are permitted to do business in Iran with a regime that murders Canadians. I fully expect to hear our dithering PM weigh in on the importance of "quiet diplomacy."
posted by 327.ca at 10:10 AM on March 31, 2005


I'd like to see:
1. An immediate withdrawal of all Canadian embassy staff and diplomats currently in Iran.
2. An immediate expulsion of all Iranian embassy staff and diplomats currently in Canada.
3. A legislated divestment of all Canadian business dealings in Iran.
But, like 327.ca, I don't expect anything to be done.
posted by rocket88 at 10:23 AM on March 31, 2005


It’s sad what governments can get away with. If I’m not mistaken, The Shah, Pol Pot both simply died of old age. Suharto, is living under house arrest. It’s only very recently Pinochet was charged with any crimes, and he’ll also probably die of old age anyway. It’s a bit disappointing we live in a world that lets things like this slide.

It would be nice if this sparks change in Iran. Sometimes things like this fire the public up and bring about real change and revolution.

I hope Canada does something. Somehow I doubt we will.
posted by chunking express at 10:29 AM on March 31, 2005


Also, the CBC has an in-depth feature on this case, though it hasn't been updated with the recent developments.
posted by chunking express at 10:31 AM on March 31, 2005


Wow. I felt sick reading that. I hope there will be some sort of justice in the end, but I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Alison at 10:33 AM on March 31, 2005


The only good in this is that the doctor who examined this poor woman is speaking out and willing to testify, probably at considerable risk to his own and his family's lives. If he can do so much, surely we Canadians can make an effort to make sure our elected officials don't drop the damn ball.

I'm going to be doing some letter writing too.
posted by orange swan at 10:36 AM on March 31, 2005


I don't want to derail this excellent post, but I would really like to see some ideas about how to advance this issue. For example, severing diplomatic ties sounds good. But what does that do for Iranians who are attempting to emigrate to Canada? (I don't know the answer to that, and I'd like to.)

The nagging feeling that we will once again use this as an opportunity to say pious things and toot our "quiet diplomacy" horn is sickening. I doubt we'd even know about have Shahram Azam's report if it weren't for the tireless efforts of Kazami's son, Stephan Hachemi.

I want to see Canada make a strong, unambiguous statement about what the regime did to one of our citizens. I want her death to mean something.
posted by 327.ca at 10:40 AM on March 31, 2005


With every day that passes it seems that Iran's evil gets just a little more pure.

Clearly the Iranian diplomatic staff in Canada needs to be expelled at once.
posted by clevershark at 10:47 AM on March 31, 2005


I would really like to see some ideas about how to advance this issue. For example, severing diplomatic ties sounds good. But what does that do for Iranians who are attempting to emigrate to Canada? - 327.ca

And how does that affect Canadians who still have family in Iran and possibly their own business stuff happening in the country of their birth? (I also don't know the answer to this question and would like to. I have Iranian-born friends here in Canada)
posted by raedyn at 10:50 AM on March 31, 2005


raedyn: And how does that affect Canadians who still have family in Iran [...]

Really good question. Here's one answer.
posted by 327.ca at 10:57 AM on March 31, 2005


I saw her story on the Discovery/Times channel a few months ago. It is disgusting that in this supposed age of enlightenment, shit like this still happens in the world.

And nobody cares, as long as they have their SUVs and American Idol to keep them occupied.
posted by eas98 at 11:00 AM on March 31, 2005


the official Iranian line has been that her death was an accident due to injuries from a fall.

Iran's sounding like every spouse-beating alcoholic redneck on COPS, only I don't even think they use that sorry alibi anymore.

And nobody cares, as long as they have their SUVs and American Idol to keep them occupied.

I'd guess that most of the entire Eastern hemisphere could give two shits about SUVs, American Idol, or Kazemi's death. The West has no monopoly on solopsism.
posted by dhoyt at 11:05 AM on March 31, 2005


enough already with Ziba Zahra Kazemi. This story is over. The miscreants who dishonored Iran are being punished. Enough is enough.

I would be willing to concede that people on the ground probably engaged in torture by my defintion and the legal defintion. I think you could make the argument that the government permitted an environment where it could happen. But I don't think, from what I have read in these links or elsewhere, that you can say that the government had a policy of tortue in the sense I was referring to. My guess would be that the policy was something along the lines of "be as aggressive as you can within the bounds of the law." The people who crossed the bounds at the individual level should be punished. But I refuse to accept that idea that the policy was "torture those bastards to make them hurt" or anything of the like---and I haven't seen a shred of evidence suggesting it was.

Seems to me that Interrogation is where vital information is sought; torture is where you are terrorizing someone for the sake of terrorizing them. Interrogation seems to me be moral as the intent and the ends sought are good. Torture is just bad. I don't doubt that the government engages in aggressive interrogation, and I would want them to. I doubt they are engaged in torture. So my guess is that the military chain of command authorized actions that intented to permit interrogation to get information, but the environment was such that on the personal level, some of the people there crossed lines.
posted by orthogonality at 11:09 AM on March 31, 2005


Oh goodie. Baiting.
posted by Cyrano at 11:14 AM on March 31, 2005


This story is over?

How do you figure? Everything revealed by the Globe and Mail today is pretty damning, and is all new information.

The miscreants who dishonored Iran are being punished?

Last I checked fuck all has been done in Iran with respect to this. Who's been brought to justice? Last I checked Iranian courts were saying she fell. That's their official statement.

orthogonality, i think you're talking out of your ass. The miscreants who dishonor Iran run the country.
posted by chunking express at 11:19 AM on March 31, 2005


orthogonality, i think you're talking out of your ass.

Yeah, he is. Let him enjoy his little moment.
posted by 327.ca at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2005


Please, people, let's take this thread in the direction 327.ca suggested (i.e., how we citizens can press this issue) or in any other direction but in arguments with a comment that was either a) facetious or b) bullshit.
posted by orange swan at 11:21 AM on March 31, 2005


327.ca, that article you linked to is just appalling. I can't believe that family would sue Canada for not issuing visas quite fast enough instead of the country that actually tortured them and murdered their son - and that wouldn't even let the family have their son's body.
posted by orange swan at 11:32 AM on March 31, 2005


Since when has ortho been channeling dhoyt (or is it... ah, who cares)?
posted by clevershark at 11:32 AM on March 31, 2005


orange swan: Please, people, let's take this thread in the direction 327.ca suggested (i.e., how we citizens can press this issue) or in any other direction but in arguments with a comment that was either a) facetious or b) bullshit.

OK, here are some email addresses. Only obvious things are coming to mind so far, but it's a start:

Members of Parliament. (Let your MP know what you think.)

Prime Minister's Office
. (Paul Martin)

Minister of Foreign Affairs (Pierre Pettigrew)

Any non-Canadians who feel like emailing these folks, please do. Canadian politicians are intensely conscious and protective of their do-gooder international image, so your comments may actually carry more weight than our own.
posted by 327.ca at 11:32 AM on March 31, 2005


Sorry. These links work...

Members of Parliament. (Let your MP know what you think.)

Prime Minister's Office
. (Paul Martin)

Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Pierre Pettigrew)
posted by 327.ca at 11:36 AM on March 31, 2005


327's links should be Paul Martin and Pierre Pettigrew. On preview...

As usual, orthogonality's point is lost because of the idiotic way in which s/he chooses to make it. If you follow the links on the periods you'll see he's quoting other MeFite's with each paragraph--though don't ask me why. Ortho, based on your short history on mefi you obviously have things to say and interesting opinions. Perhaps you should work on your delivery which almost without exception sucks. I hardly think many people consider your methods clever and you often temporarily derail threads. How many times does it have to happen before you smarten up?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:38 AM on March 31, 2005


Unless I totally misunderstood you, Kudos, orthogonality. Very clever.
posted by a_day_late at 11:39 AM on March 31, 2005


327.ca, that article you linked to is just appalling. I can't believe that family would sue Canada for not issuing visas quite fast enough instead of the country that actually tortured them and murdered their son - and that wouldn't even let the family have their son's body.

I remember this case. The family begged Canadian consular officials for weeks prior to his flogging to issue an exit visa. The embassy dithered and futzed. The guy was flogged. And died.

I'm not sure that suing Canadian officials is going to give them much satisfaction, but it may shed a bit more light on why they weren't given more support when they needed it...
posted by 327.ca at 11:40 AM on March 31, 2005


I hardly think many people consider your methods clever and you often temporarily derail threads.

Obviously, I disagree in this case. I consider orthogonality's post a direct challenge to the righties on the list to show why their logic for US torture/abuse can't be applied to Iran as well.
posted by a_day_late at 11:44 AM on March 31, 2005


Fuck. That was awful.

When they say a fall, it pretty well means torture and abuse, doesn't it? Just like a battered wife saying she fell when she's got a fresh shiner.

The perpetrators of the crimes against her should be publicly castrated by a pack of feral cats.

I'm just shocked. Why would they torture her and rape her and beat her? To what end? Because they can? Because there was no one to tell them not to? Fuck, people sicken me. And these animals deserve no humane death, they deserve to suffer for their crimes.
posted by fenriq at 11:45 AM on March 31, 2005


An article on the lawyer for Kazemi's family:

A fearless critic rattles the mullahs
She is also representing the family of a Canadian journalist, Zahra Kazemi, who died in custody after a blow to her head in prison that split her skull.

In an exclusive interview with The Sunday Age, the first given to an Australian newspaper since she was summoned to appear before the Revolutionary Court in December, Mrs Ebadi said she had decided to ignore all further attempts by the prosecutors to question her until specific charges were laid. "I wrote a letter to the court telling them I would not appear and right now it is not clear what the response is going to be. This is just another attempt to intimidate me, to stop me fighting for human rights."

In January she was again given three days to appear before the court or face arrest. So far authorities have kept their distance.



Members of Parliament. (Let your MP know what you think.)

Prime Minister's Office. (Paul Martin)

Minister of Foreign Affairs. (Pierre Pettigrew)



Soon to email all three. Thanks for the links, 327.
posted by dhoyt at 11:48 AM on March 31, 2005


327.ca writes " Any non-Canadians who feel like emailing these folks, please do. Canadian politicians are intensely conscious and protective of their do-gooder international image, so your comments may actually carry more weight than our own."

I plan to email them how I'm proud they're responding to Iran's treatment of Kazemi as diplomatically as they've responded to the US's treatment of Maher Arar. Canada really does protect its naturalized nationals!


chunking express writes "orthogonality, i think you're talking out of your ass. The miscreants who dishonor Iran run the country."

Two whole trials have been held of the underlings accused of interrogating Kazemi, and both men charged were acquitted. What more do you want? Trials of ranking officers and government officials?
posted by orthogonality at 11:48 AM on March 31, 2005


If I'm not mistaken, Orthogonality is parodying he whom I promised never to mention again. And he's doing a good job. It wouldn't hurt, however, to let people in on the joke.

This is the most brutal incident of torture I've ever read. I'd advise reading the link on the doctor's story. He sounds like a really decent human being.

There is so much pressure on politicians to keep refugees out, I think it's a great idea to advocate for them within your own government.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 11:49 AM on March 31, 2005


orthogonality, i think you're talking out of your ass. The miscreants who dishonor Iran run the country.

Wow. Hook line an sinker. Orthogonality, I applaud you.
posted by Freen at 11:50 AM on March 31, 2005


fenriq: Why would they torture her and rape her and beat her?

I don't know and can't guess. For what it's worth, Iran is ruled by a conservative theocracy and people -- everywhere and everyday -- do what they figure god gives them permission to do.
posted by 327.ca at 11:50 AM on March 31, 2005


Freen: Wow. Hook line an sinker. Orthogonality, I applaud you.

Wrong thread. The truly clever people are all over here today.
posted by 327.ca at 11:53 AM on March 31, 2005


I remember this case. The family begged Canadian consular officials for weeks prior to his flogging to issue an exit visa. The embassy dithered and futzed. The guy was flogged. And died.

Ah, that changes things. From the article I got the impression it was just a delay of a few days. I think they won't get money from their lawsuit, but the matter will get press, and government officials will be forced to account for any laxity.
posted by orange swan at 11:54 AM on March 31, 2005


orange swan: Ah, that changes things.

Here are a couple of links that give the basic story. They're not very authoritative sources, but the facts are essentially as I remember.
posted by 327.ca at 12:04 PM on March 31, 2005


I appreciate orthogonality.
posted by LittleMissCranky at 12:05 PM on March 31, 2005


Cutting diplomatic ties would publicise the story on the international scene. It's generally regarded as a very serious move, and would raise eyebrows and generate a few headlines in otherwise uninvolved places.
posted by rocket88 at 12:11 PM on March 31, 2005


Hachemi's lawyers say they want to fight for compensation from the Iranian government and for the case to be heard by the International Court of Justice. "I have been very, very frustrated by the position and attitude of the There was a news conference in Ottawa this morning where Kazemi's son, Stephan Hachemi (Kazemi's son) and Shahram Azam spoke.

From this CBC article (Canadian tortured for days, says Iranian doctor)...

Hachemi's lawyers say they have sent a letter to Prime Minister Paul Martin calling for a meeting to work out what can be done now that they have medical proof of torture.

"This new evidence, while gruesome, reinforces our position," said Canada's foreign minister Pierre Pettigrew. "We will continue to put pressure on Iran to render justice." Pettigrew said he didn't think unilateral sanctions would work and said he would not recall Canada's ambassador in Iran.


So far, it sounds like Team Martin is once again showing fearless adherence to its policy of unswerving ambivalence...
posted by 327.ca at 12:13 PM on March 31, 2005


Though male doctors in Iran are not allowed to carry out vaginal exams, Dr. Azam's emergency-room nurse thoroughly examined Ms. Kazemi and found the bruising to be the result of "a very brutal rape."

Horrible irony.
posted by malaprohibita at 12:15 PM on March 31, 2005


It's a good thing we can trust that a) Iran isn't trying to develop nukes and b) that they wouldn't never use them just to retain power.

The US Administration may have lied, manufactured evidence, and invaded without cause, but this is the kind of stuff that happens in every dictatorship- if it's one or the other, then pay your money...
posted by ewkpates at 12:17 PM on March 31, 2005


The account by the doctor is completely brutal.

The behavior of the Iranians, in this case, is beyond reason. It's pathetic, and monstrous.

orthogonality:
Interrogation seems to me be moral as the intent and the ends sought are good. Torture is just bad.

Invariably, those who judge the intent and "ends" of the interrogation will equivocate and apply "interrogation" improperly. Much as a cop will taser someone indiscriminantly, eventually.

Why are you drawing a distinction between a written policy and what has happened?

I don't think ... you can say that the government had a policy of torture in the sense I was referring to.

That's like saying, "Sodomizing someone with a broomstick is not the policy of the NYPD, therefor it's a non-issue." or as you put it: "This story is over". and when did you earlier refer to it?

Now, I understand that you are not denying torture in this case- but in your second paragraph, it's almost like you are talking in a general way. Are you referring to Iranian torture or American? What is "the government"?? You would want the Iranians to engage in aggressive interrogation? Hmm, well that's nice.

chunking express said it best, if the official line is : "She fell", and considering she was missing fingernails, how the fuck can you say: "This story is over."

On preview: I can't discern your intensions at all. Are you joking??
posted by kuatto at 12:18 PM on March 31, 2005


kuatto, you have completely misunderstood ortho, and several comments referring to ortho's comment.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:21 PM on March 31, 2005


kuatto, did you read the other comments in this thread? Orthogonality was quoting - verbatim - other MeFite's comments about the allegations (later admitted by the US regime) of torture perpetrated by American soldiers. I do not believe this is his heart-felt position on the issue.

(the period at the end of each paragraph in his original post is a link that leads to the original comment he's quoting)
posted by raedyn at 12:23 PM on March 31, 2005


Orthogonality, while I appreciate the point you are driving at, I think your execution may have made it difficult for everyone to get the actual message you inteded.

But then perhaps that was exactly the effect you intended. I'm not sure if it's brilliant or inflammatory and trollish.

posted by raedyn at 12:27 PM on March 31, 2005


I was pissed off about ortho's cleverness. But after thinking about it, he does make a good point.
posted by 327.ca at 12:27 PM on March 31, 2005


327.ca: This word clever, I do not think it means quite what you think it means.

let me parse Orthogonality for you.

"enough already with Abu Ghraib. This story is over. The miscreants who dishonored America are being punished. Enough is enough."

Then the reply, appropriately parsed "orthogonality, i think you're talking out of your ass. The miscreants who dishonor America run the country."

You see, he is implying that those who Abu Ghraib to be the result of a few bad apples are being hypocritical when they demand the the Iranian heads of state are to blame for this current atrocity. Do you see the irony?

Frankly, and state that sanctions a policy of torture, those responsible not only for the creation of that policy, but those who allow that policy to continue are, in my humble opion, monsters. Iran, The US, et all.
posted by Freen at 12:29 PM on March 31, 2005


Oh sorry... 327.ca
posted by Freen at 12:29 PM on March 31, 2005


Raedyn: I hadn't even noticed that. Simply Amazing. I'm flabbergasted.
posted by Freen at 12:31 PM on March 31, 2005


Do you see the irony?

Yes, I do and did. I was pissed off (momentarily) because I'm feeling there's not much time to get Team Martin off its collective ass.
posted by 327.ca at 12:33 PM on March 31, 2005


Ortho's comments would be clever if they were at all relevant. But, as it happens, they're not. This thread has nothing to do with the US, it's about a Canadian tortured by Iranians. The thread had nothing to do with Abu Ghraib, or America, which is why people were, I think, somewhat confused. Ortho, there are a million US torture threads on mefi. Talk about US torture in them. I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying that for this thread, you're doing a bit of a derail.
posted by unreason at 12:35 PM on March 31, 2005


But then perhaps that was exactly the effect you intended. I'm not sure if it's brilliant or inflammatory and trollish.
posted by raedyn at 3:27 PM EST on March 31 [!]


It doesn't matter which:

Agitate, agitate, agitate!
--Frederick Douglas
posted by a_day_late at 12:35 PM on March 31, 2005


I admit I totally missed Ortho's sarcasm, and agree comparisons between Iran and US in this case may be quite apt. That said, I agree with unreason -- I don't think this is the thread for such a discussion. This is a disgusting act, irrespective of the horrible things the US has done, and probably continues to do.
posted by chunking express at 12:44 PM on March 31, 2005


Caution, irony at work! Once you know, Ortho's really one of the wittiest people here (not witty-ist).
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 12:54 PM on March 31, 2005


unreason writes "Ortho's comments would be clever if they were at all relevant. But, as it happens, they're not. This thread has nothing to do with the US, it's about a Canadian tortured by Iranians."

A great man, while in jail for agitating against, among other things, official and unofficial torture, put it this way
...I am [here] because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco-Roman world, so am I. compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid.

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
An official U.S. policy of torture is relevant here: Knowing that torture is the policy of the (for better or worse) most powerful nation in the world, totalitarian nations around the globe also know that the U.S. will not castigate or punish then for their tortures, lest America's own torture policy be thrown back in America's face. American human rights policy is a dead letter, an old dog with no teeth.

When Iranians torture Canadians and the world silently acquiesces, injustice is encouraged. When the U.S. sends Canadians to Syria to be tortured, injustice licks its lips.

And when U.S. "conservatives" rationalize and minimize and justify American torture because "their team" is wielding the whip, injustice feasts on their indifference and fattens on their hypocrisy.

I'm not trying to derail this important thread. I'm trying to say, with Martin Luther King, that America injustice serves to give cover to, and embolden, the injustices of every totalitarian regime everywhere.


327.ca writes "Yes, I do and did. I was pissed off (momentarily) [at orthogonality] because I'm feeling there's not much time to get Team Martin off its collective ass."

It's just about meaningless for Americans to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you decrying Iranian torture when it's by now abundantly clear that we do things just a heinous, while our government winks and enjoys an "accountability moment" given it by the majority of Americans who think that torture in their names is "no big deal".

Frankly, any American horror at Iranian atrocity can and will be easily dismissed as the hypocrisy of a nation that only objects when it is brown or yellow people turning the thumbscrews. Until we clean our own house, until we admit our sins and do our penance, we're not going to be of much help to you, or the world, or ourselves.
posted by orthogonality at 1:21 PM on March 31, 2005


A hint, this form of quoting only works if you can be reasonably certain that your readers know the reference.

And turning punctuation marks into links is one of two design illnesses epidemic on mefi that should mandate an automatic suspension of posting priveleges until the user gets a clue as to creating web-based texts. (The other being a string of single word links that go to separate pages.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:31 PM on March 31, 2005


Ortho, what you said directly just now is easily a hundred times more eloquent (and effective) than most of your frequently too-clever-by-half rhetorical attempts to throw the right-wingers' words back in their faces. The right-wingers won't get it (or won't care if they do), and it too often serves to derail or distract.
posted by scody at 1:37 PM on March 31, 2005


orthogonality: Until we clean our own house, until we admit our sins and do our penance, we're not going to be of much help to you, or the world, or ourselves.

I do appreciate what you're saying, ortho. Very much, in fact. Now please direct that mighty talent at the email addresses posted earlier in this thread. It doesn't matter that you're American. It does matter that we're all human beings and have a point of view about torture that should be expressed.
posted by 327.ca at 1:41 PM on March 31, 2005


Ortho, I'd actually written a MeTa post calling you out - had it all ready to detonate in another screen while I kept an eye on this thread. I didn't post it because I went from being almost certain that your intentions were good to being completely certain that they were (I hadn't at first even noticed those linked periods). And, of course, this thread did not actually derail, while it did become more about you (as opposed to your point) than is productive.

I agree completely with your point, but do want to urge you and the other Americans in this thread to join us in writing to the Canadian government officials about this. You won't hear me calling for the current American government to back the Canadian government on this issue. It has hopelessly compromised itself and has about as much "moral authority" as Jimmy Swaggert. But you Americans are not your government, and as individuals you still have credibility and responsibility. So please use it.
posted by orange swan at 2:09 PM on March 31, 2005


Oh, I get it now. I guess then that my comments are directed at the spirits orthogonality is channeling; obtuseness aside, I believe my points are still valid. It's horrible when I feel like I have to explain why torture...ahh nvermin
posted by kuatto at 2:19 PM on March 31, 2005


I'm a student in Toronto and two of the girls that I do most of my group-assignments with are from Iran. Sometimes they tell me a bit about what it's like there, and I've gathered that it's bad and intolerant, but my rural Ontario upbringing didn't prepare me for anything in the links above... The world is a scary place, and now I just want to hug my friends and hope that their families back home are as safe as possible in such a country.
posted by heatherann at 5:53 PM on March 31, 2005


What has happened to Ms Kazemi is horrific and I add my name to the list of disgust!

Strange isn't it, as America starts its 'war-foreplay' and ramps up the hype against its brand new worst enemy, graphic details of a murder are revealed to allow the whole world to see that Iran deserves a spanking! Maybe they have learnt something from the whole Afgan/Iraq thing - get your allies on board before you invade.

When reading news stories it's always wise to ask "why am I being allowed to find this out now?".
posted by DrDoberman at 10:45 AM on April 1, 2005


Lovely that a thread about the Canadian government gets hijacked into one about the American government. Bloody typical of Americans, always got to make the world revolve around themselves.
My email:
I demand more action re: Ziba Zahra Kazemi

I am a Canadian citizen, residing in British Columbia.

I believe the Canadian government will represent my best interests, and the best interests of all Canadians, by supporting the Kazemi family in their prosecution of the Iranian government. I believe it is appropriate and necessary to impose some sort of diplomatic or economic penalty against the Iranian government.

It will be grossly wrong for the Canadian government to treat this matter in the same manner as it did the Maher Arar case. The disregard for appropriate sanctions has caused harm to Canadian citizens; in the case of Kazemi, direct and violent harm.

Please, respect Kazemi and all Canadian citizens, and impose sanctions against the Iranian government until such time as they clean up their act.

posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 AM on April 1, 2005


FFF-- that's an excellent message.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 3:46 PM on April 1, 2005


Thank you. I'm not sure a verbatim copy would be as effective, so please feel free to remix it. Maybe a MetaFilter's worth of email will clue them in.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:22 PM on April 1, 2005


I got a reply:
Dear Mr. Fish:

On behalf of the Right Honourable Paul Martin, I would like to thank you for your e-mail, in which you raised an issue which falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Pierre Pettigrew, Minister of Foreign Affairs. The Prime Minister always appreciates receiving mail on subjects of importance to Canadians.

Please be assured that the statements you made have been carefully reviewed. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Pettigrew so that he too may be made aware of your comments. I am certain that the Minister will give your views every consideration.

L.A. Lavell
Executive Correspondence Officer
Agent de correspondance
de la haute direction
Feels like smoke, but who knows? Maybe I've just changed history. :-)
posted by five fresh fish at 11:12 AM on April 4, 2005


Maybe I've just changed history. - five fresh fish

Let's hope.
posted by raedyn at 12:41 PM on April 4, 2005


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