Conference and Photo Exhibition on Iran Human Rights in the Canadian Parliament on the Occasion of World Human Rights Day – The Need to Enlist the Revolutionary Guards – December 5, 2017.
On Tuesday, December 5, 2017, a meeting was held at the Canadian Parliament’s Sir John McDonalds building, entitled “Canadian Policy and Iran Regime: World’s Leading Executioner and State-sponsor of Terror”. The meeting was held at the invitation of the “Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran” on the occasion of World Human Rights Day and to support a policy based on human rights principles.
Hon. David Kilgour, co-chair of the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran, welcomed the participants, which included large number of current and former Members of Parliaments, Senators, delegations from embassies of some Arab countries, Canadian victims of terror, and a large number of Iranian-Canadians from across Canada.
Kilgour offered his deepest condolences to earthquake victims in western Iran in which more than 1000 persons died. He elaborated on the dire situation of human dignity and quoted the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran that since the nuclear agreement, no tangible improvement on the situation of human rights was seen.
Then, Senator David Smith, reminded of his relationship with the Iranian people and the Iranian opposition, saying that he was a friend of Iran for almost all of his life, and he always sees them as a great and admirable civilization. He said I am here to express my support for your organization, your people and your goals. I’ve been at several conferences over the years in Paris and you know about the ten-point program (of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi) which you are probably familiar with and I am not going to tell them all now, but I’m with you. And you and I want to see the day that the Iranian people have freedom of speech, press freedom, fair and just elections, and other fundamental rights.
A series of panelists and speakers spoke about the dangers that the Iranian regime poses for the stability of the region and the regime’s export of terrorism and fundamentalism throughout the region and the world using IRGC and its affiliated militias and mercenaries. They also emphasized that the perpetrators of crimes against humanity, especially those involved in the massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in 1988 must be brought to justice, and an independent UN commission of inquiry must be formed and the culture of impunity must end.
The speakers and panelists included: Senator David Tkachuk, Senator Linda Frum, Senator David Smith (Retired), Hon. Irwin Cotler, Hon. Judy Sgro, MP, Hon. Tony Clement, MP, Hon. Peter Kent, MP, and representatives of Iranian-Canadian communities from across Canada who offered their support for the initiatives of Parliamentarians to blacklist the IRGC as a terrorist entity.
Senator Takachuk spoke in his discussion of the S219 bill and said he was the sponsor of the S219 bill, an act to deter Iran-sponsored terrorism, incitement to hatred, and human rights abuses. The bill targets only the current regime and the organizations and officials within it, which are responsible for the list of bad behaviour. The bill wants to strengthen the aspirations of individuals in this hall demanding a democratic Iran, Iranians who respects the human rights of all its citizens, adheres to internationally accepted standards and reject terrorism, and an Iran which encourages coexistence with other nations and peoples.
Former Canadian finance minister and current MP Tony Clement said, last year, I was very proud to be together with Senator Linda Forum, a joint sponsor of the Iran Accountability Week in Parliament. It is very important that we continue to hold Iran accountable for its actions, its activities both inside Iran and abroad, throughout the Middle East and around the world. You know that Iran regime is a state sponsor of terrorism; you know that Iran is involved in interfering in Middle Eastern politics, whether in Syria or Iraq or Lebanon, and I can go on. And, of course, by financing groups like Hezbollah, they are a threat not only for the Middle East, but also for exporting it outside the Middle East.
Senator Linda Frum, in her speech referred to demonizing campaign of Iranian regime and its lobby in Canada against her, saying that no matter how much the regime supporters try to bully me, I will not be afraid or silent. She told the participants in the meeting that I want you to know that it is your courage that inspires me and it is your courage that compels me to talk about the illegally detained prisoners such as Saeed Malek Pour, it is your courage that makes me to stay in solidarity with you in your struggle to form the UN commission of inquiry on the mass murder of political prisoners in 1988 in Iran, and it is your courage and your support that encourages me to fight until the bill S219 is approved by Parliament.
Former Immigration Minister and current MP, Hon. Judy Sgro, said it is very encouraging to see all of these people here. I welcomed them twice in front of the American Embassy in cold and during the hunger strike. Canada was the pioneer in the United Nations resolution on the human rights situation in Iran, but the 1988 massacre should be recognized and someone must be held accountable. This cannot be allowed to continue.
Mr. Peter Kent, former Minister of the Environment and current MP, spoke in detail about the massacre of political prisoners in 1988, including saying Jeffrey Robertson in his report asks whether a massacre that took place a decade ago at the end of a war with a million victims, is it really important today? And of course the answer is yes. It is just as important today as it was in the terrible summer and autumn in 1988. I am proud to join the House of Representatives’ unanimous bill in 2013 that condemns the massacre as a crime against humanity, and that on September 1, each year, it was established as a day of solidarity with the political prisoners in Iran, and of course, I support bill S219. Those victims and today’s victims are demanding justice, the survivors are demanding justice, you are calling for justice. The desire for a democratic Iran cannot be faded.
Former Canadian Justice Minister Irwin Cotler and one of the most popular human rights figures in Canada talked about the need to support political prisoners in Iran and said that both the Senate and the House of Representatives should put political prisoners at the center of their attention. In May, we have an Iran Accountability week. Let’s have a joint parliamentary Accountability Week on Iran in the Senate, in which the whole issue of human rights in Iran is a major theme. And let’s see if we can repeat the Iran Accountability Week in the democratic countries of the world. This creates a huge massive support from the people of Iran.
At the end, the representatives of Iranian Communities across Canada in their speech emphasized on the need to hold Iran regime officials accountable for human rights violations particularly the 1988 massacre of political prisoners and also the need to evict the regime and its IRGC for the regional countries to guarantee peace and stability in the region. They thanked the senators and members of parliament for supporting Iranian people an d their resistance to achieve a free and democratic Iran.
On the sidelines of this meeting, an exhibition of human rights conditions in Iran, the massacre of political prisoners in Iran and the destructive role of the IRGC in the region was held and welcomed by all political figures and many attendees. Dozens of delegates and parliamentary assistance also participated in the meeting and thanked the organizers for this important program.