Last Tango with Tehran
Canada owes it to Kazemi
July 29, 2004
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
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". [News]
Personally, I think the professor did it with
a candleholder in the study.
Kazemi's fall from grace was no accident. In fact, at different
times during the past year, the Iranian government has been so
bold as to blame Kazemi herself. The government of the Islamic
Republic of Iran, not only in its handling of the Kazemi affair,
but also in its systemic violation of human rights, has demonstrated
for the world the totalitarian and theocratic nature of its regime,
and when an odious convention is exposed by reducing it to its
most ridiculous form, it cannot exist very long.
The fact is that
more than seventy percent of Iran's population is under the
age of twenty-five, and for that seventy percent, the government
of the Islamic Republic of Iran is an illegitimate government;
a government which they played no role in shaping or bringing
Along with taking all the necessary diplomatic measures
to show their discontent, the Canadian government would do well
acknowledging the student led democratic movement in Iran; a movement
that has struggled to occupy a place in the so-called reformers
versus conservatives paradigm, and despite that struggle, has overwhelmingly
bared the blows of the Iranian governments batons.
In light of
the fact that Kazemi was in Iran chronicling the democratic
movement of Iran's students, when detained by Iranian agents,
it is imperative that Canada picks up where Kazemi was forced off.
She gave her life because she believed that the democratic
student movement in Iran was entitled to recognition, and the Canadian
government should ensure that her death not be in vain.
As the Canadian
government continues to "search" for
the truth, Canadian citizens should be able to trust that they
will address the realities of the Iranian system of governance
and speak to its duplicitous policy of mouthing the words of democracy,
while sanctioning the detention and torture of not only its own
citizens, but also citizens of the international community.
Canada has been slow to realize, the reality is that there is
no independent judiciary in the Islamic Republic of Iran; there
only the reality of absolute rule, in the form of a supreme jurisconsult
(Velayat e faqih), who receives his mandate from the cosmos.
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
role in its enforcement.
Samira Mohyeddin has a degree in Religion and Middle Eastern Studies
from the University of Toronto and is currently the communications
officer for the Canadian Committee for Democracy in Iran (CCDI).
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