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Statement by Minister Cannon on Iran’s Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

(No. 376 – December 8, 2009 – 5:45 p.m. EST) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement expressing concern over the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran:

“Canada is deeply concerned by Iran’s deteriorating human rights situation, which has significantly worsened since Iran’s presidential elections in July.

“On December 7, Iranian security forces once again used intimidation and violence against opposition protesters, including students, on the anniversary of Students’ Day. The Iranian government’s ongoing effort to restrict freedom of expression and assembly, thereby depriving its citizens of their rights, is deplorable. The people of Iran deserve to have their voices heard and to enjoy the rights to which they are entitled.

“Canada is also troubled by reports that Iran is planning to carry out the execution of Mohammad Reza Haddadi on December 9. Mr. Haddadi was convicted of a crime that was committed when he was 15 years old. Canada notes that juvenile executions are in direct contravention of Iran’s international obligations and commitments.

“We once again call upon Iran to meet its human rights obligations, in law and practice.”