Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement marking the anniversary of Iran’s 2009 presidential election, which precipitated a serious deterioration in the country’s human rights situation:
“One year ago, in the wake of Iran’s presidential elections, the world bore witness to the Iranian regime’s violent repression of its citizens, who were exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly in protest against the conduct of those elections.
“Iran has made absolutely no progress in the last year toward addressing the legitimate aspirations of its people. In fact, its regime has been even more repressive. Iran’s continued, blatant disregard for the rights of its citizens must end.
“Canada calls on the Iranian regime to uphold its human rights commitments by allowing freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom of assembly; protecting religious minorities; respecting the human rights of prisoners and detainees; and ensuring equal treatment of women and girls.
“Canada also calls on the Iranian regime to conduct an independent investigation into the killings, violence, arrests and detentions that occurred in the wake of these demonstrations.
"Canada strongly urges the Iranian regime to respect diverse social and political groups and their freedom of expression, and to engage these groups in a constructive dialogue that will serve to strengthen the rich fabric of the Iranian nation.
“Canada further urges the Iranian regime to respect the rights of the country’s Baha’i community and cease persecuting it, discriminating against it and detaining its members. We note the trial of the seven leaders of the Baha’i community was to take place today, and we call on the Iranian regime to ensure that due process is respected.”