Mudcat Café message #2021560 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #98444   Message #2021560
Posted By: Dickey
10-Apr-07 - 02:56 PM
Thread Name: BS: Give em shit, Canada
Subject: RE: BS: Give em shit, Canada

"PARIS, 26 July. (IPS, with reports from Nicholas Read and Petti Fong of the Vancouver Sun) The family of Keyvan Tabesh, a young Iranian shot and killed by a Port Moody police officer on 14 July, expressed shock at the attitude of the Iranian government trying to use the incident as a mean to cover up the death of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, the 54 years-old Iranian-Canadian photojournalist.

On Friday, Iran's Foreign Affairs Minister Kamal Kharrazi said that his ministry has launched an immediate probe into the killing of the young Tabesh and injuring a friend, Amir Aqa'i by the Canadian police.

Family members say they had no idea the Iranian government was going to use the death of their 18-year-old son and brother to deepen a diplomatic incident with Canada.

"We were surprised", said Keyvan's sister, Rita, in an interview from Burnaby. "We never talk to the government".

"The problem is between Keyvan's family and the police", she said softly, but with emotion. "It is a social problem, not a political problem".

Keyvan, 18, was shot by a Port Moody police officer when he approached the officer with a machete in his hand.

Amir, who has recovered from his wound, was not available to comment Thursday, but his father, who declined to give his first name, said he agreed with the Tabeshes that what happened to his son was a matter for Canadian, not Iranian, authorities.

"The Iranian government are liars", Aqa'i's father said. "This is not Iran's business. This happened in Canada, not Iran and It's a Canadian problem, not an Iranian problem".

Aqa'i said he and his wife were "very, very upset" when they heard the news about the Iranian government involvement. "You have to know we will solve this problem in Canada", he said. "We love Canada".

But Kharrazi stressed that Iranian foreign ministry would employ all its capacity and implement all diplomatic instruments to clarify the bitter incident and safeguard the rights of all Iranian nationals.

Tehran had also accused Ottawa to order the press not to report the "murder" of the young Iranian. The Foreign Affairs spokesman had said that the "horrifying killing" has created "fear and horror" among the Iranian community in Canada.

The Tabeshes, arrived in Canada on 2000 and are landed immigrants with family members still in Iran.

Kharrazi, reported by the official news agency IRNA, returning the table against Canada, said that Iran found incomprehensible the comparisons made by the Canadian department of foreign affairs between the deaths of Zahra Kazemi and Keyvan Tabesh.

Iranian jurists and observers noted that Iranian statements concerning the killing of Keyvan was "quite similar" to those used by Ottawa with Tehran in the case of the death of Ms. Kazemi while in the custody of the authorities.

Canada recalled its Ambassador from Iran following the burial of Ms. Kazemi in her hometown of Shiraz, in southern Iran, in spite of demands by her son, Stephen Hachemi and the Canadian government to have the body transferred to Canada for autopsy.

The Foreign Affairs Minister further stressed that the preliminary and hasty comments made by Ottawa officials in this regard was not a clear explanation but rather a justification for the indefensible act of Canadian police in murdering the Iranian national.

Asked why Tehran waited more than a week to raise the issue with the Canadians, Kharrazi accused the Canadian government for having failed to carry out its diplomatic duty to immediately notify the Islamic Republic of the incident.

"Noting that Iran was waiting for clear and convincing explanations in this regard, Kharrazi voiced his ministry's insistence upon having detailed, speedy and just investigations into the bitter case and having the person or persons responsible for it tried and punished", the Agency quoted the Minister.

Ken Taylor, a former Canadian ambassador to Tehran between 1979 and 1980, said the Iranian government's call for transparency is "outrageous".

"It's total mischief and absolute nonsense to try and link the two cases together", said Taylor, adding "It weakens their own case by taking this step".

Taylor said the police investigation into the Port Moody shooting is going to be transparent and will follow a set of procedures because the course of justice in Canada is subject to rules of law.

Rejecting Iranian claims, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham expressed Saturday the hope to see the Iranians carrying "same thorough and open" investigations in the case of Ms. Kazemi as the Canadians are offering in the case of the late Keyvan.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Reynald Doiron invited Iran on Friday to send observers to Canada to oversee the police investigation into Tabesh's death.

"We are ready to offer them complete and unfettered assistance in communicating with the authorities", he said.

Rita and Keyvan's father, Nasser, a surgeon, both said Keyvan's death was not the business of the Iranian government, and they didn't want what happened to him to be used for political purposes. "We don't want the government to use our family", Rita said. "We just want to know why the police killed our brother.

"We just want justice for our son," said Nasser. "We are not a political family. We are living in Canada now and we want justice in Canada".

Keyvan's mother, Forough Jabalameli, has been quoted as saying her son did not know he was being confronted by a policeman because the officer was dressed in civilian clothes and driving a vehicle without police markings.

Pari Sa'idi, a spokeswoman with the Iranian-Canadian Community of Western Canada, said the Iranian government's comments are in direct retaliation for the Canadian government's demand for answers in Zahra Kazemi's death.

"This is bullying and the Canadian government should not buy it. They're covering their crime. Whatever happened here will be thoroughly investigated", she said Thursday.

Sa'idi, who left Iran in 1985, said she remains too fearful to return to visit her family. Relatives and friends still living in Iran tell her the country remains a virtual prison. "You can close your eyes, shut your mouth and go back to see your family. And if you do see something or say anything they don't like, they'll torture you", she said.

"The Iranian government's suggestion that the investigation into the Port Moody shooting may not be transparent shows poor knowledge of how the Canadian justice system works", Inspector Chris Beach, who is in charge of the Vancouver Police Department's major crimes section told journalists.

Port Moody Police Chief Paul Shrive said the homicide investigation is continuing into Tabesh's shooting and witnesses are still being interviewed. "The attempts by any individuals whether in this country or outside to put any political spin will just not be entertained by us", he added.

The unidentified officer who fired the shots joined the force two years ago from the RCMP and has 25 years of policing experience. He is on leave.

Police say Keyvan had earlier struck another vehicle with a machete and that the police officer followed the car in which he was riding into the Port Moody cul-de-sac where the shooting occurred."