January 29, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
“Canada is deeply concerned about reports that Iranian citizen Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence has been confirmed by the Iranian authorities. His case is but one example of the refusal by Iranian authorities to respect their international human rights obligations.
“On December 26, 2010, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was told that her death sentence may still be carried out in the form of a hanging. She has been forced to confess to charges of murder and adultery on Iranian television.
“Iranian authorities sentenced seven administrators of the Baháí Institute for Higher Education to four- and five-year sentences solely on the basis of their faith.
“On January 14, 2012, Pastor Youcef Naderkhani was asked to renounce his Christian faith or face execution for the charge of apostasy.
“Iran’s current leaders regularly ignore their obligations under international law and have failed to meet internationally recognized norms of due process and transparency.
“We call on Iran to reverse its current course and meet its international human rights obligations and release prisoners such as Saeed Malekpour and others who have failed to receive fair and transparent legal treatment.”