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Iran Reopens Investigation Into Killing of Journalist

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Joined: 09 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Iran Reopens Investigation Into Killing of Journalist Reply with quote

TEHRAN, Nov. 27 — The Iranian Supreme Court has ordered a new investigation into the death of an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist who was killed in Tehran in 2003 while in custody, the judiciary spokesman said Tuesday.

The spokesman, Alireza Jamshidi, told journalists on Tuesday that the court had objected to the acquittal in 2004 of an intelligence agent accused of inflicting the fatal blow to the photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, who was 54, the Iranian news agency ISNA reported.

“The Supreme Court found flaws,” he said, adding that it had questioned the investigation by a different court. “It has sent the case to a new court for investigation,” he was quoted as saying.

The decision was made after a lawyer for Ms. Kazemi’s family, Shirin Ebadi, a Nobel Peace laureate, appealed the ruling and threatened to take the case to international organizations.

The case has caused tension between Iran and Canada. The Canadian government recalled its ambassador in 2003 in protest, and it has repeatedly championed United Nations resolutions condemning Iran’s human rights record. Relations between the countries have yet to return to normal.

Ms. Kazemi was arrested while she was photographing outside the notorious Evin prison in Tehran. The authorities first said that she had died of a stroke and then claimed that she had fallen and hit her head, but a committee appointed by Mohammad Khatami, the reformist who was president at the time, announced that she had died of a fatal blow to her head that had caused her brain to hemorrhage.

The judiciary charged an intelligence agent, Muhammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, with semi-intentional murder, and he was eventually acquitted. But lawyers representing Ms. Kazemi’s family have said that Mr. Ahmadi was just a scapegoat, and they have accused a prison official, Muhammad Bakhshi, of inflicting the blow.

John A. Terry, a lawyer in Toronto who represents the Kazemi family, said they doubted that the court’s decision would lead to any meaningful action.

“We have very low expectations,” he said. “We have no indications that this is part of some reform push or transparency push that wants to get to the heart of the matter.”

Mr. Terry said he had asked the Canadian government to try to take part in the new investigation.

The family has filed a civil lawsuit in Montreal against the Iranian government and several of its officials. Hearings are expected to begin next fall.

In the Canadian Parliament, Helena Guergis, the secretary of state for foreign affairs, repeated the government’s call “for a new and credible investigation.”

“Iran has an obligation to the Kazemi family to ensure that the perpetrators of this terrible crime are brought to justice and the rights of the family are upheld,” Ms. Guergis said.

In a separate case, ISNA reported Tuesday that Hossein Moussavian, a former nuclear negotiator who was arrested in May, had been cleared of charges of spying and the possession of confidential documents. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said this month that Mr. Moussavian was a spy, and the minister of interior accused him of passing information to the British.

The spokesman for the judiciary, Mr. Jamshidi, told the news agency that although those charges had been dropped, Mr. Moussavian had been found guilty of “propagating against the regime.” He did not elaborate on the charge, but said the case would be completed within the next three to four days.

Ian Austen contributed reporting from Ottawa.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another fake investigation, especially with ayatollah ebadi involved-her whole family lives in Canada- to get Candadian government off their back.
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Son of slain Iranian-Canadian photojournalist says Iran is p Reply with quote

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Son of slain Iranian-Canadian photojournalist says Iran is playing games

MONTREAL - Stephan Hachemi reacted skeptically Tuesday to news that Iran's Supreme Court will begin a new investigation into the death of his photojournalist mother four years ago.

The Montreal-based Hachemi says he is certain a fresh probe into Zahra Kazemi's death in Iran will bring no new sanctions.

"They're doing this to improve their own image, to create a different story that would appeal better to people," Hachemi told The Canadian Press.

"They want to project a nice image of their government, both on an international and national level because this case was very important for the people of Iran as well."

Kazemi, 54, a Canadian freelance journalist of Iranian origin, died on July 11, 2003, after being arrested days earlier while taking photographs outside Evin prison in Tehran. She was never formally charged with any crime.

Iranian authorities initially said Kazemi died of a stroke, but a committee appointed by then-president Mohammad Khatami, a reformist, found that Kazemi died of a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage caused by a "physical attack."

The more conservative judiciary rejected those findings and later claimed Kazemi died in custody from an accidental fall.

"Judges at the Supreme Court have objected to the court investigating the case, saying it was not competent to investigate the case," judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi told reporters Tuesday, referring to the initial court that ruled in the case.

The case was appealed to Iran's Supreme Court earlier this year.

Before the judiciary ruled that she died from an accidental fall, prosecutors filed a charge of semi-premeditated murder against a secret agent who interrogated Kazemi while she was in custody. In 2004, a court acquitted the secret agent, and an appeals court upheld that ruling in 2005.

"We're extremely skeptical," John Terry, the family's lawyer, told The Canadian Press in a telephone interview. "The family's experience with the Iranian justice system is that it is not a fair and just system."

The motivations behind the announcement are hard to guess, Terry said.

"I really hesitate to read the tea leaves of Iranian politics because the judiciary is very politicized," he said.

But Terry and Hachemi speculated the Iranian justice system may be mindful of comments from some lawyers in Iran who have criticized the way the case has been handled. And Hachemi adds that a lawsuit filed in Quebec may be behind the decision.

The Iranian government has retained a Montreal lawyer to battle the $17-million civil suit filed in Quebec Superior Court against Iran, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi and prison official Mohammad Bakhshi.

That suit is slowly edging its way towards a trial phase next fall.

"It's not really about the $17 million that we're asking, it's about changing the law that will open the door to many other similar cases," said Hachemi.

"I think they're trying to take some of the weight off this civil suit, to create a sort of diversion."

The Canadian government has blamed Mortazavi for Kazemi's death. Iranian reformists accused Mortazavi of trying to stage a cover-up by reporting that Kazemi died of a stroke.

As a result, Canada recalled its ambassador in 2003 to protest how Iran was dealing with the case.

Meanwhile, lawyers representing Kazemi's relatives have repeatedly said they did not believe the secret agent was guilty and have accused Bakhshi, chief of intelligence at the prison, of inflicting the fatal blow to Kazemi and the conservative judiciary of illegally detaining her. The judiciary cleared Bakhshi of any wrongdoing.

Nobel Peace laureate Shirin Ebadi, acting as the chief lawyer for the victim's mother, rejected the court's rulings involving the secret agent as flawed and threatened to take the matter to international organizations if other legal stages failed to deliver justice.

But Hachemi says Ebadi is by no means acting on his or his family's behalf and has never consulted with him on the matter.

Terry was to speak to Canadian government officials and said he planned to urge them to press Iran to open the door to Canadian government and family involvement in the investigation.

In Ottawa, Helena Guergis, secretary of state for foreign affairs, said Canada has "long called for a new and credible investigation" into the death.

"Iran has an obligation to the Kazemi family to ensure that the perpetrators of this terrible crime are brought to justice and the rights of the family are upheld," Guergis said.

Francois Bugingo of Reporters Without Borders Canada said the Iranian court decision showed the courts are not immune to protests from abroad by agreeing to revisit the case. But Bugingo also echoed the sentiments of Hachemi and his Canadian legal team.

"I'm not that optimistic there's going to be a positive aftermath from all this," Bugingo said from Montreal.
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Joined: 04 Apr 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 5:39 am    Post subject: IT'S R U T I N E ! Reply with quote

Evil or Very Mad Exclamation R U T I N E Exclamation T O R T U R E Exclamation Evil or Very Mad

as another Iranian/Canadian who was arrested & beaten up by islamist gaurds in Iran just a few months ago, I've seen first hand the kind of rutine procedural/ formal torture the gaurds are told to use against people.

long story short...once the crowd left they cornered me near my apt in sea side, dragged me to their car-peikan (two men!), one pushing me against the car, making sure my knee is against the metal edge of door frame...while the other hits me in the leg hard enough to rapture the knee tandones and "break the knee" sort of speak.

threw me to the car, while the whole time on the way to kalantari the gaurd threatening me and saying "asking for your rights? I'll show u your rights now, just wait!"

while inside kalantari 12 babolsar, he dragged me outta the car to the courtyard in front of the building, and then starts running towards the building...running up the stairs while holding only corner of my 'manto' on shoulder piece

so this is the 2nd part of the rutine torture by the garuds

breaking your knee first and making you run up the stairs ...
hoping you'll trip and smash your head on the stone ofcourse!

I filed a complain later...went to "gaurds' court office"! with the cane just to tell this gaurd 'beiglary' and his superiors:

People's lives are not in your hands, aren't u forgetting somebody up there ? the fact that I didn't trip and die that day, means God is trying to tell u guys something: that I give life, and only I can take it away.

I was just lucky I guess, while many HAD FALLEN on those kalantari steps, time & again perhaps...and the gov. can only say:

oops! they must have tripped and hit their head against something! not our fault !


After all these year of continuous torture and murder by officials in Iran,

there are no International Court to take the cases Question are there?

Had I died that day, I would definitely want an International court to take over the case for my murder!!!

otherwise it would be like eternal torture to see the Criminals are laughing at me in Their own Courts!!!





Paayande Iran
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