Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee

Ottawa – Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff made the following statement today on the first anniversary of the disputed 2009 Iranian election:

“This week Canadians will join with concerned citizens around the world in using the one-year anniversary of the 2009 election in Iran to draw attention to the human rights abuses still occurring in that country.

“Since the election, the international community has witnessed the arrests, detainment and murder of thousands of activists, students, journalists and members of religious minorities. The human rights abuses of ordinary citizens and the continued detention of political prisoners who are denied access both to legal representation and to visits from their families are now commonplace throughout the country.

“These are more than just stark reminders of the brutal repression of Ahmadinejad’s regime; they are the troubling signs of an intransigent government refusing to address the very question of its legitimacy.

“On behalf of the Liberal Party of Canada and our Parliamentary caucus, I urge the Iranian government to unconditionally release all political prisoners, end all executions and human rights abuses, and affirm the right to free assembly for the Iranian people.

“These are the crucial first steps necessary for the Iranian government to meet the obligations of its own people for accountability, transparency, and the establishment of a legitimate democratic government.”