Saturday, July 24, 2004

"Justice" in Iran

Here's a bit of human rights related news from the "Islamic Republic" of Iran:

A Tehran court acquitted the sole defendant in the murder of an Iranian-Canadian photojournalist, the lawyer and Nobel Peace laureate representing the victim's mother told The Associated Press on Saturday.

Shirin Ebadi, who is the chief lawyer for the mother of slain photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, said the legal proceedings were flawed.


Kazemi, a Canadian freelance journalist of Iranian origin, died July 10, 2003, while in detention for taking photographs outside a Tehran prison during student-led protests against the ruling theocracy.

Iranian authorities initially said Kazemi died of a stroke but a presidential committee later found she died of a fractured skull and brain hemorrhage.

The agent charged with murdering Kazemi, Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi, pleaded innocent on July 17 and the trial was upbruptly ended the next day.

Hard-liners were angered when the defense team led by Ebadi accused prison official Mohammad Bakhshi of inflicting the fatal blow to Kazemi and the conservative judiciary of illegally detaining her.

Source: Associated Press/USA Today

So the secret police murder a journalist, and the regime barely goes through the motions of investigating the matter. To those who were in any doubt, this should make abundantly clear that the radical Islamists are firmly in control in Tehran, and that whatever trappings of democracy may have existed in the country are rapidly being discarded. This is the regime that foreign policy "realists" want to cut a deal with?


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