July 15, 2010 VOLUME 74
E-ZAN VOICE OF WOMEN AGAINST FUNDAMENTALISM IN IRAN
To our readers,
The case of Sakineh
Mohammadi Ashtiani, a woman who is currently facing a death by
stoning sentence in Iran has received international attention this
past month. Sakineh was charged with adultery and "conducting an
illicit relationship outside of marriage." Her lawyer and two
children, who began the campaign against their mother's execution,
claim the charges are bogus. WFAFI deplores this violent and
medieval act, and calls on all nations, NGOs, and organizations, to
condemn this horrific atrocity. WFAFI also welcomes the move by
government like the United Kingdom who speak out against the
practice of stoning and in defense of Sakineh.
The punishment for both man and woman who commit adultery in Iran is stoning, however of the hundreds of cases since its inception in 1983 under the Islamic penal code, most of the actual victims have been woman. Although the Iranian judiciary supposedly placed a moratorium on stoning in 2002, the punishment has remained on the books. In 2005-2007 there was an escalation in the number of stoning sentences, and according to Amnesty International, in some cases women were forced into prostitution by their addict husbands, or simply out of poverty. In 2006 a man and woman were convicted of adultery and stoned to death in Mashad, one of Iran's major cities.
Although the stoning has been put on hold for now, the threat against Sakineh's life continues. It is imperative that the international pressure, particularly governmental pressure must continue until Sakineh is released from prison and stoning is abolished in Iran.The fundamentalist regime in Tehran is shameless when it comes to violence against Iranian women. After Sakineh's case was exposed last month, the Iranian judiciary spokesman, Jamal Karimirad was quoted as saying, "Stoning has been dropped from the penal code for a long time, and in the Islamic Republic..." Just today, several hours again, another woman, a 25-year-old pregnant woman, was sentenced to death by stoning under the alleged charges of adultery. Maryam Ghorbanzadeh, is also held in the same prison as Sakineh in the city of Tabriz. In fact, there are three women who are facing death by stoning in this prison. The third woman is Azhar Bakri, currently 19-year-old, who was also sentenced to death by stoning after being convicted of adultery at age of 14. Azhar was forced to a marriage in her early teens and accused of adultery five years ago.
The pressure against this regime must increase. It is through the continued monitoring and exposure of the Iranian regime that the international community can send a clear message to not only the regime, but also the Iranian people, a message that the regime has no place in the international community and is completely illegitimate. All of which will lead to its own demise.
E-Zan Featured Headlines
NCRI – June 19, 2010
In its ceaseless attempts to continue the suppression of women for “mal-veiling,” the clerical dictatorship in Iran has reinforced a fresh tactic, forcing women to pay hefty fines. According to obtained reports, agents of the regime’s State Security Forces (SSF) and paramilitary Bassij Force stop women on streets and issue fines against them under the pretext of “mal-veiling.” In one instance (pictured), a woman was fined almost $22.(22500 Toman - Iranian Currency). In another instance, a driver of a vehicle was asked to refer to the SSF headquarters for having a female passenger with insufficient veiling. Based on reports, 70 percent of Iranians live under poverty line and they earn only about one dollar per day
NCRI- June 21, 2010
On Saturday, June 19, at around 16:00 local time, agents of the Iranian regime’s intelligence agents raided the house of the elderly mother of a union activist. The ailing mother was harassed and insulted by the assailants, who were acting as the protection office of the Greater Tehran Bus Company.
After hearing about the attack, neighbors began to protest strongly against the raid, frightening the intelligence agents who quickly decided to flee the scene.
The 60 year old woman is the mother of Mr. Saeed Torabian, the head of public relations at the Bus Company Syndicate in Tehran. She suffers from heart complications and lives alone. Lack of information about her son’s condition has worsened her anxiety.
Separately, on June 18, Reza Shahabi, the syndicate’s treasurer, filed a complaint against the protection office after his wife was kidnapped. He was later arrested by an intelligence agent identified as Morshedlou, who works in the protection office of the bus company.
Despite multiple referrals by the Shahabi and Torabian families to various state organs to inquire about the condition of their loved ones, thus far no information has been obtained about their situation. The cases of these two union activists have reportedly been handed over to the second branch of the Revolutionary Court’s interrogation at the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran.
Canada Free Press
By Sayeh Hassan
June 30, 2010
According to news report from “Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran” the current conditions of the women’s ward in the notorious Evin Prison has become worse than ever. Currently there are 28 female political prisoners are housed per prison cell. As the summer temperature in Tehran rises to as high as 40C there is no way for the prisoners to cool themselves. The heat in the cells is to such degree that prisoners have been fainting due to extreme heat. Also the access to water has been terminated in the women’s ward and the female political prisoners have not even had access to drinking water for a number of days. Further a number of female political prisoners have been suffering from food poisoning, however they have not been allowed to seek medical treatment. Some of the symptoms displayed by these women has been severe vomiting and diarrhea. According to this news report there have been efforts by the prison authorities to create a division among the female political prisoners in an attempt to divide and conquer. For example Ms. Mahdiye Golru, a student activist and a political prisoner was summoned by Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolat Abadi who threatened her for defending her former cellmate Shirin Alam-Hooli ( a Kurdish political prisoner who was executed on May 9th). Jafar Abbas Dolat Abadi has also been involved in threatening and warning female political prisoners not to speak out and publisize the prison conditions in the women’s ward, threatening with punishing the entire group if anything about the conditions is published.
Down with the Islamic Regime in Iran
Long Live Freedom in Iran
Translation by: Sayeh Hassan
Iran Focus-July 4, 2010
Nearly a million Iranian children - mostly girls - are married due to provisions in Iran's Islamic marriage laws which allow the existence of child wives, according to an official with knowledge of the matter. "Official sources put the number of child spouses in the country at between 900,000 to 950,000. This violates the international Convention on the Rights of the Child", Mohammad Bonyazadeh, a member of the Cultural Association in Support of Working Children, told the semi-official news agency ILNA on Thursday. Children as young as 15 can legally go into full-time employment in Iran, Bonyazadeh said. "On the one hand the law recognises anyone under the age of 11 as a child, who lacks the thinking capacity, wisdom, and decision-making ability to vote in an election, but on the other hand it defines the legal age for marriage as 9 (for girls) and 13 (for boys)", he said, adding that the legal age for voting in Iran is in line with international standards. "Unfortunately, instead of enjoying their youth, playing sports and getting some education, the country's young girls who are married, are forced to play the role of a wife and accept all its difficult responsibilities, such as running household chores. This dangerous experience forced upon the children at this age has many dire and harmful repercussions on them and even on their children".
Iran Focus- July 5, 2010
Sadras Koushkizadeh, 24, married with a three-year-old daughter, died on Saturday in the south-western city of Dehdasht because of the seriousness of her burns. She had self-immolated 20 days ago with kerosene out of frustration over poverty and destitution in her family, a family friend told Iran Focus. Dehdasht is situated in Kohkilouyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province in south-west Iran.
NCRI –July 6, 2010
Over 60 female students at the Free University of Qom have been summoned to the disciplinary committee since March. Many of them are political activists. The clerical regime has segregated students at the entrance of the university based on gender, insulting female students under bogus pretexts. According to obtained reports, more than 1,000 female students have already been verbally abused by the regime’s agents
Reuters- July 7, 2010
An Iranian official has rejected a new women's soccer strip which was created after the world football federation banned the team from international competition due to their Islamic head gear, media reported on Wednesday.
Soccer's world governing body FIFA banned the team in April after the Iranian Olympic Committee insisted they play in head scarves.
In Iran all women are required to cover their hair in public to conform to the Islamic dress code.
In May, the Iranian Football Federation said it had reached a compromise with FIFA whereby the under-15 team would play in caps at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on August 14-26.
On Wednesday, the women's youth team tried on the new strip during a demonstration match.
But, according to Mehr news agency, the official in charge of women's affairs at Iran's Physical Education Organisation stormed off when she saw that the strip did not conform to what had been ordered.
Amnesty International-July 9, 2010
Currently held in Evin Prison, Tehran, Zeynab Jalalian, a 27-year-old Iranian Kurd, was arrested in 2007. She was convicted in January 2009 of "Moharebeh" ("enmity against God") in connection with her alleged membership of a Kurdish armed opposition group. She is reported not to have been granted access to her lawyer during her trial, which is said to have lasted only a few minutes and during which no evidence was reportedly produced against her. Unconfirmed reports are circulating widely that her execution may take place any day.
E-Zan Featured Reports
Iranian Woman Activist, Narges Mohammadi, Arrested On Thursday
Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian journalist and prominent human rights activist, was arrested on June 10th by Intelligence Ministry Officials at her home in Tehran. Mohammadi, a member of the Million Signatures Campaign and a vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center, the organization founded by Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, has been interrogated and arrested by the Iranian government for her political activism several times before. Her husband and children are currently unaware of why she was arrested or where she is being held.
According to a press release from the Alexander Langer Foundation, a pro-peace and coexistence organization that honored Mohammadi with the international Alexander Langer award in 2009, Mohammadi first became involved with political activism when she was studying physics at the International Imam Khomeini University. Since that time she has contributed to various reformist journals, written political essays, and become an influential champion of human rights. In 2008, Mohammadi was elected the president of the executive committee of the National Council of Peace in Iran, a broad coalition against war and for the promotion of human rights. Mohammadi's husband, Taghi Rahmani, has also been arrested several times for his criticism of the Iranian government and has spent a total of 16 years in prison, according to Reporters Without Borders.
Women are a major force in Iranian political activism. Last week in the Progressive, Shirin Ebadi wrote, "with women's rights activists at the helm, the Green Movement consistently demands democracy and human rights in Iran." Subsequently, the Iranian government has cracked down on women's rights activists and many have been arrested.
In January, at least 33 women were arrested at a peaceful protest in Tehran. In December, Ministry of Intelligence Agents arrested Ebadi's sister; a professor in dentistry, Noushin Ebadi; Mansoureh Shojaee, a founder of the One Million Signatures campaign for women's equality in Iran; and Morteza Kazemian, a journalist. Somayeh Rashidi, also with the One Million Signatures Campaign, was also targeted with a search of her home and a summons to court. Earlier this year, Shirin Ebadi's husband, Javad Tavasolian, was arrested for three days and forced to videotape a "confession" making derogatory comments about Ebadi and her work for human rights. His passport was confiscated and the couple's assets, bank accounts, and pensions were frozen by the government. Extremely Difficult Conditions in the Women’s Ward in Evin Prison, Iran
Agence France Presse
June 19, 2010
The killer of Neda Agha-Soltan, whose shooting death during a street protest against last summer's Iranian election was flashed around the world on the Internet, must be brought to justice, Amnesty International demanded on Saturday. "One year after the killing of Neda Agha-Soltan, the failure of Iranian authorities to bring her killer to justice is a damning example of the culture of impunity that has widened since the 2009 election protests," Amnesty said on the eve of her June 20 death. "Neda's unlawful killing is emblematic of not only the numerous human rights violations committed against Iranians over the past year -- which are still continuing today -- but also of the government's steadfast refusal to bring to justice those responsible for torturing and killing its critics," the London-based group's Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui said in a statement.Agha-Soltan, 26, became an icon of the post-election uprising against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad after a mobile phone video of her bleeding to death during a protest in Tehran was posted on the Internet.Dozens of people were reportedly killed in street battles between security forces and protesters, especially in Tehran, following an election that reformist leaders charged had been rigged.The regime crushed the protests, rounding up pro-reform politicians and journalists and unleashing the feared Basij militia on those who dared to demonstrate.In its 2009 annual report, Amnesty charged that "compelling evidence emerged that a number of detainees, both women and men, had been raped and otherwise tortured in detention." The authorities reacted furiously to the accusations of rape, first made by opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi.But they were forced to admit abuses at Tehran's notorious Kahrizak detention centre, which was closed after at least three protesters died of injuries there. Iran also has sentenced 10 protesters to death and hanged seven people on security charges unrelated to the election but seen as a warning to opposition groups. Earlier this month, leaders of the pro-democracy Green Movement that sprouted after the election called off a June 12 rally on the first anniversary of the election, saying they feared for the safety of protesters. "Despite the wealth of video-taped evidence and witnesses, the Iranian authorities have not carried out any independent investigation into Neda's death, nor the apparent deaths of scores of others at the hands of government forces between June and December 2009," Amnesty said. "They have denied allegations that the paramilitary Basij caused Neda's death and blamed, instead, a range of people and organisations including the BBC, CNN, the CIA, and even the doctor who rushed to Neda's aid when she was shot," the rights group said.” The government's response to Neda's killing has been a cynical face-saving exercise," said Sahraoui. "It is all too typical of the wider failure of the Iranian authorities to observe the rule of law, and to ensure accountability for the crimes that continue to be committed in its name," she added. Amnesty also called for UN human rights experts to be allowed into Iran. It said that despite a standing invitation issued by the government to the United Nations, no UN human rights visits have been allowed in since 2005. At least five requests to visit made by UN human rights experts have remained unanswered, Amnesty said. "The authorities should know that their attempts to brush away the evidence pointing to their responsibility will not silence Iranians, who continue to demand truth and justice for the deaths of Neda and many others," Sahraoui said.
Agence France Presse
June 21, 2010
Iranian police have issued warnings to 62,000 women who were "badly veiled" in the Shiite holy province of Qom as part of a clampdown on dress and behaviour, a newspaper said on Monday.
Around "62,000 women were warned for being badly veiled" in the province of Qom, Tehran Emrouz newspaper quoted provincial police chief Colonel Mehdi Khorasani as saying.
It was unclear whether all the women issued with warnings were from Qom or the tally included travellers passing through the province.
Khorasani said police had also confiscated around 100 cars for carrying improperly dressed women, adding that "encouraging such relaxations are among the objectives of the enemy."
The newspaper did not say during which period the warnings were issued.
The population of Qom is more than one million, with most of them concentrated in the city itself which is Shiite Iran's clerical nerve-centre.
By law, women in the Islamic republic must be covered from head to foot, with their hair completely veiled, and social interaction is banned between men and women who are not related.
Iran is known particularly for summer-time crackdowns on improperly dressed women but the issue has sparked debate after hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he "firmly" opposed the clampdown.
In a televised interview earlier this month, he said he was "firmly against such actions. It is impossible for such actions to be successful."
His remarks have drawn the wrath of fellow hardliners and several top clerics who have criticised him for opposing the police crackdown.
Iran's morality police have returned to the streets in past weeks, confiscating cars whose male drivers harass women, local media say, without clarifying what amounts to harassment.
The reports say the police or hardline militiamen have been stopping cars with young men or women inside to question their relationship.
The Islamic dress code for women is also being more strictly enforced.
Thousands of Iranian Government Opponents Hold Rally Outside Paris
By Dheepthi Namasivayam and Steven Erlanger
June 26, 2010
At least 30,000 opponents to the Iranian government gathered on Saturday in a stadium in this quiet town outside Paris to support the National Council of Resistance to Iran in a large rally coming a year after disputed elections in Iran. Amid high security, and with the presence of some well-known conservative political figures like the former Spanish prime minister, Maria Aznar, and the former American ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, the crowd heard speeches condemning the Iranian regime of the ayatollahs and of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The National Council of Iran, founded in France in 1981, remains on the list of terrorist organizations kept by the United States State Department, which considers it a political front for the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran. But it has been removed entirely from a similar list kept by the European Union and is considered a legitimate dissident organization.
At the rally, Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, a vice president of the European Parliament, delivered a declaration of support to the council signed, he said, by a majority of European legislators.
The council has also provided intelligence on the Iranian nuclear program from sympathizers inside the country, some of which has proved to be both accurate and important. Mr. Bolton appealed to Washington to remove the council from its terrorism list, which some suggest was done as a gesture to Iran’s former president, Mohammad Khatami, seen by Washington as a reformer.
The rally, with supporters dressed in lavender and yellow, was in support of the council leader, Maryam Rajavi, who calls herself the president-elect of the Iranian resistance and lives in exile in France. Her husband, Massoud Rajavi, has not been made any public appearances since 2003.
She called for mobilization of resistance inside and outside of Iran, saying: “No to turbaned fascism, no to stoning, to executions and amputations, no to the obligatory veil, to obligatory religion, to imposed government.” Supporter shouted, “Azadi,” or liberty. She called on governments to stop buying oil and gas from Iran, welcomed sanctions resolutions passed by the United States Congress and said that Iranian leaders should be tried for crimes against the Iranian people. Mr. Aznar said: “I support your fight for liberty and democracy. The Iranian people have suffered enough. They demand and deserve a better government, which respects the dignity of people and assures fundamental liberties.”
Mr. Bolton said that “the Iranian regime has become a military dictatorship, fascist and repressive. But the repression that followed the fraudulent elections of 2009 has shown to what point the regime is criminal and the opposition powerful.”
Sima Razavi, a computer manager from California, said the rally was different this year because of the opposition demonstrations in Iran following the elections. “It’s been a year of large-scale uprising in Iran,” she said. “Workers, students, women, ethnic groups and religious groups have been very brutally suppressed. This is the year after elections, this means people who wanted to vote a little bit of reform into the system were again disappointed.” Farzam Rezapour, 19, an engineering student in Luxembourg, grew up in Iran. His parents were imprisoned there, and “when young, my parents isolated me from politics, knowing everything was dangerous,” he said. But he discovered politics through the council, he said, and was inspired by the resistance inside Iran itself.Friday, July 9, 2010
Iran: 6 prisoners including a woman hanged in Oroumieh and Esfahan
July 7, 2010
Eight hangings in two days
On Monday, the inhumane regime ruling Iran hanged 6 people at the Esfahan and Oroumieh prisons. In the northwestern town of Oroumieh, in a cruel act, a mother and her son, Mostafa Rahimi, were hanged together. In the central city of Esfahan, four prisoners were executed collectively. The clerical regime’s judiciary has openly declared “raising the level of security” as the goal of these executions. The regime has not released any information about the identities and particulars of the victims.
The execution of political prisoners and dissidents as “troublemakers” and regular offenders is a well-known tactic that the regime has used over the past three decades of its despicable rule.
The recent hangings bring the number of executions in the past two days to eight.Mohammad Reza Hadadi, 22, who has been incarcerated since the age of 15, is also on the brink of execution. The clerical regime’s judiciary officials have told his father that Mohammad is scheduled to be executed this Wednesday, July 7.
Setting up gallows, especially for the execution of young prisoners, on the brink of the July 9 uprising occurs in order to intensify the atmosphere of fear and repression in society and demonstrates the extent of the faltering regime’s fear over the expansion of popular protests, especially by the courageous university students.
The Iranian Resistance calls on all international authorities and human rights organizations, particularly the United Nations Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and special rapporteurs on arbitrary arrests and execution to condemn the deteriorating human rights conditions in Iran and enact urgent measures to stop the cruel hangings, particularly in the case of the young prisoner Mohammad Reza Hadadi.
Amnesty International Urges Iran Not to Execute Woman Convicted of Adultery By Any Other Method
July 9, 2010
Human Rights Organization Says Fears Remain Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani Could Be Hanged
Amnesty International today urged the Iranian authorities not to execute by any other method a 43-year-old woman convicted of adultery, following an official statement that she will not be executed by stoning. The Iranian Embassy in London announced on Thursday that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani would not be stoned to death. However, fears remain that the mother of two could be hanged, as she has been convicted of "adultery while married."
"We note the Iranian Embassy's statement on stoning, but a mere change of the method of execution would not address the injustice faced by Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa deputy director. "The statement does not specify which judicial authorities in Iran have been consulted. Until she and her lawyer have been officially notified otherwise, she could still face execution, including by stoning," said Sahraoui. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted in May 2006 of having an "illicit relationship" with two men and received 99 lashes as her sentence. Despite this, she was then also convicted of “adultery while being married," which she has denied and sentenced to death by stoning.
She has retracted a “confession” made during interrogation, stating that it was made under duress. However, she was convicted by a majority of three out of five trial judges on the basis of the "knowledge of the judge".
This is a provision in Iranian law that allows judges to make their own subjective and possibly arbitrary determination of guilt, even in the absence of clear or conclusive evidence. Ashtiani's death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in May 2007. Her case has been sent to the Amnesty and Clemency Commission twice, but her request for clemency was rejected on both occasions. The judicial authorities in Iran must immediately clarify Ashtiani's legal status and conduct a thorough review of her case, as well as all other cases where stoning sentences have been passed, Amnesty International said. "To punish - and in some cases execute - people for being in consenting relationships is no business of the state. Anyone treated as such is a prisoner of conscience," said Sahraoui. Amnesty International is aware of at least 10 other people (seven women and three men) under sentence of stoning and believes there are likely to be others. Last year, at least three people sentenced to death by stoning were in fact executed by hanging.
"Any form of state killing is unacceptable and inhumane, and Iran must now give assurances that Sakineh - along with the numerous other prisoners on death row in Iran - will not be killed by any means."
Thursday's statement said that stoning as a punishment has now been removed from a new draft of Iran's Penal Code, which is currently under review by Iran's parliament and is yet to be ratified. However, it remains to be seen if this decision has been ratified and if it will be implemented. Amnesty International has also called on Iran's lawmakers to confirm the statement made by the Embassy in London in relation to the banning of the punishment of stoning in the new version of the Penal Code under consideration.
Amnesty International opposes the criminalization of consensual sexual relations.
The Assault on Civil Society
Voice of American News
July 12, 2010
The government of Iran has turned its back on a rich tradition of civil society, perpetrating human rights abuses against many activists and ordinary citizens who just wanted the right to be heard. Addressing a meeting of the Community of Democracies in Krakow, Poland, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke of the importance of robust, non-governmental civic organizations to prosperous, democratic societies: "Citizens," she said, "must be free to come together to advocate and agitate, to remind those entrusted with governance that they derive their authority from the governed." But Secretary Clinton pointed out that many governments across the globe are applying "a steel vise" that is "crushing civil society and the human spirit." One of those governments, she noted, is Iran. "The government of Iran has turned its back on a rich tradition of civil society, perpetrating human rights abuses against many activists and ordinary citizens who just wanted the right to be heard," said Secretary Clinton. In a report released last month, Amnesty International catalogued the growing government crackdown on Iranian civil society – on journalists, human and cultural rights defenders, religious minorities and women's rights activists - that has occurred in Iran over the past year. The report said that more than 5,000 Iranians have been arrested since the disputed June 2009 election, and many have been tortured. Claudio Cordone, Amnesty's interim secretary general, said, "The Iranian government is determined to silence all dissenting voices." In her speech in Krakow, Secretary of State Clinton noted that governmental repression of independent groups and individuals "demonstrates the fear of illegitimate rulers, the cowardice of those who deny their citizens the protections they deserve." President Barack Obama has said that the courage of Iranians in the face of severe repression is "inspiring" and "reminds us of democratic movements that have brought greater freedom and respect for universal rights to every region of the world. ... In Iran and around the world," said Mr. Obama, "the United States of America will continue to stand with those who seek justice and progress and the human rights and dignity of all people."
Police Handling of G20 Protests Slammed by, of all Countries, Iran
July 14, 2010
Canada will take no lectures on human rights from a country that stones its citizens to death.
That is Ottawa's response to Iran's criticism of the treatment of protesters by police at the G20 summit in Toronto.
Tehran called in Canada's charge d'affairs on Wednesday to remind him of Canada's international commitments to allow peaceful demonstrations, according to Iran's state Press TV.
The story, posted on the network's website, contains the headline "Iran slams Canada over G20 brutality."
The diplomatic salvo, which appears to be retaliation for Canada's repeated criticism of Iran's human rights record, did not sit well with Ottawa.
"Canada will take no lectures on human rights from Iran," Melissa Lantsman, a Foreign Affairs spokeswoman told The Canadian Press in an email.
"Canada has a system which affords all citizens due process of the law. This is something that Zahra Kazemi was never afforded."
Kazemi was an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist who was beaten to death in 2003 after being arrested for photographing relatives of detainees outside the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. The Montreal woman was never formally charged with any crime.
Lantsman said Canada continues to have serious concerns about Iran’s "egregious human rights abuses", including the violent crackdown following its disputed June 12, 2009 presidential election.
Iranian-Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari was among scores of political activists and other figures detained during the protests.
The Newsweek reporter spent nearly four months in jail but was released on a $300,000 bail and allowed to leave the country last October.
The world outcry over the death sentence by stoning for an Iranian woman convicted of adultery has become the latest issue in Iran's fraught relationship with the international community.
Stoning was widely imposed in Iran in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution.
Amnesty International's 2010 human rights audit cites Iran for rape and torture in prison, violations of freedom of expression, discrimination against women, and inhuman punishment such as flogging, "judicial amputation" and a Supreme Court ruling that upheld a court sentence that called for acid to be dropped in the eyes of a man who had blinded a woman.
The Iranian embassy in Ottawa did not immediately have comment.