When mass arrests are reported in a despotic, theological, totalitarian state such as Iran, human rights abuses will assuredly follow as the veil of secrecy and fear slowly suffocates awareness of the dire situation for the individuals under detention.
Allegations of brutal beatings designed to elicit made for TV confessions implicating both American and British governments are surfacing as the list of those killed, detained or missing grows longer everyday.
As of this writing, no word could be found about Iranian/Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari who has reportedly been arrested by the Iranian government. Bahari – who works for Newsweek among others – holds both Iranian and Canadian citizenship and because of this Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon is meeting with the Iranian charge d’affaires:
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon called in the Iranian charge d’affaires to meet with Canadian officials “to express our grave concern about the arrest of a Canadian journalist and about the general situation,” said Foreign Affairs spokesman Andre Lemay.
For what it’s worth (which could be Bahari’s life), Canadians must – through their Members of Parliament – pressure Minister Cannon and Prime Minister Harper to intensify pressure and use any finance/ trade sanctions and diplomatic avenues available to free Bahari and other detainees.
Update : (12/07/09) – Via impolitical on Twitter – Canadian New Democrat Party leader Jack Layton does the right thing in agitating for a high level delegation to demand Iran release Iranian/Canadian citizen and journalist Maziar Bahar:
“It’s not just about a Canadian,” Layton said Sunday afternoon on CTV News Channel. “It’s about the whole issue of journalists around the world who are trying to report the truth being imprisoned and, in some cases, held for long periods of time and some of them have not survived.”
Keep up the pressure, Jack.