Friday, November 23, 2007

Is Ahmadi Nezhd going to checkmate Harper on failing to protect Canadian abroad?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is Ahmadi Nezhd going to checkmate Harper on failing to protect Canadian abroad?

Is Ahmadi Nezhd going to checkmate Harper on failing to protect Canadian abroad?By : Saeed
If you want to know how strong the Canadian government foreign influence is outside of Canada, no need to travel or read the reports, just look at the cases of the Canadian detained aboard to find out how many governments do not take Canada seriously. From William Sampson who was on death row in Saudi Arabia (2001-2003) to Maher Arar who sent back to syria in cooepration with Canadian inteliignec eservce and US , Zahra Kazemi who murdered in Iran, to Huseyin Celil in China. And so on but it is not over yet.

On Dec16, 2006, Sabri Rafipour a Canadian _Iranian has been detained in Cuba for alleged bribery. He held in an isolation cell where he beat and tortured ruthlessly. From being refused water for six days, being hit, head first , against iron door and just living under inhuman conditions in only wearing underwear for some months; it is evident that Canada has not been doing anything to fix this terrible situation.

45 days after being arrested, Julia a representative staff from Canadian Embassy in Cuba met Sabri rafipour, who advised Rafipour to sign an agreement ordered by the Cuban to get him out of isolation and into the public area. However, this agreement was written in Spanish, which is a language that Rafipour cannot read. This issue meant that Mr. Rafipour was eventually forced into signing something that he did not even know of the context and which was said to be the only way to get out of isolation.

The Cuban desk at the foreign affair ministry claims that no Canadian has filed a complaint for mistreatment in Cuban prisons and as concluded as such everything must be ok in the prison system. On the contrary, a Canadian male, Mr. Piere M…… , 72 years old resident of Quebec died on Aug 30 2006 due to constant denial medical care by the prison authorities .To our knowledge Canadian government never asked the Cubans for reason of the death.

When I met briefly Prime Minister Mr. Harper on June 15, 07, at a round table in Toronto I requested for his help for an intervention in pushing for the proper legal procedure to solve the problem. On the same day, I talked to his press secretary, who told me to email her, which I did several times, too. Although Mr. Harper sent a letter to Mr. MacKay , Foreign affair minister at the time, it was all that was done and even with that , nothing serious to the advancement of solving the problem occurred. Finally, Peter Mackay replaced with Mr. Maxime Bernier. The Canadian embassy received approval from the Cuban government to see Sabri Rafipour in jail but all of the sudden, two days before the arranged visit date; the Cuban informed Canada that Cuba do not recognize Sabri Rafipour as a Canadian citizen, but as an Iranian. During this time, the Iranian ambassador to Havana met the military prosecution and formally requested the immediate extradition of Sabri Rafipour to Iran. It is interesting to note that Sabri Rafipour was a dissident to the Tehran regime. On other hand, Canada is ignored while is being the forth-ranked trade country with Cuba.

On July 20, 07 I raised the concerns on the mistreatment of Canadian in Cuba with Mr. Jack Layton, the leader of NDP, in Toronto who he promised to help the family with following up the case, it was a disappointment once again no action was taken .

After waiting for more than 150 days for the Conservative government and an additional waiting for 80 days for the NDP to show some kind of result, I informed Mr. Stephan Dion, the leader of Liberal party , on Oct 14, 07 who was in Toronto through his press secretary while I meeting in Toronto with Ethnic journalists. In addition, On Oct 22, 07, I informed some of the GTA Liberal MPs whose ridings include many Iranian residences. Still no result, yet.

Ambassadors, Zahra Kazemi and Cuban connections

While Alireza Nobari ‘s nomination as the new ambassador by Ahmadi Nezhad government to Ottawa is in limbo due to tension between two countries on the case of Zahra kaezemi , Iran has not approved the new Canada ambassador to Tehran who is already in Tehran. One of the senior clergy advisor who was on a semi official tour to promote the relation between Iran and Canada said “It is very important for Ahmadi nezhad’s government to have a good relation with Canada”. He continues, “We know that Harper is under pressure from United State administration to hold the approval of the new ambassador but if Harper continues to play game , we will expel the Canadian ambassador within 48 hours “. When asked about Zahra kaezemi, he said” it was a big mistake handling her case. He added Canada is acting politically due to the fact that Canada has ignored other cases such as Canadian Journalist killed in Egypt.”

To my understanding, if Ahmadi Nezhad brings back RafiPour to Iran, then they will go on a propaganda campaign against Canada on double standard on human rights issues.Keep in mind Canada needs to keep Iran on the side due to fragile situation in Afghanistan, It looks to me that Harper does not have much options to move against Ahmadi Nezhad.

Canadian must stand for the values that they believe in

We urge Canada to take stronger position to protect Canadian abroad, while recognizing the sovereignty of other nations. Canadian government has an obligation to protect the citizens abroad.

Unfortunately, Canadian foreign policy is weakening Canada’s reputation. Canadian foreign policy needs a valiantly restructure to build more confidence among Canadian, and to maintain its well-known reputation for peace keeping around the globe. Multiculturalism in our country is a rear treasure that will give Canada a primary role in making the world a better place to live.

For a stronger Canada, Canadian government needs a vision based on human values and Canadian principals for more efficient diplomacy at the global stage. Replacing inexperienced ministers’ will not make Canada’s situation better. In addition, we need fresh and energetic forces in some of the departments of the foreign ministry. With respect to those who are working hard in foreign ministry and care about Canada’s future, according to a source inside ministry, drinking coffee is what they do most of the day.

Canada can make a difference in the world if all Canadian voices get across to Ottawa.


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