Parliament Hill, Ottawa

This February 2017, we were honoured to present our photography exhibition at Parliament Hill In Ottawa. Showcasing our exhibition at Parliament Hill for the Members of Parliament was a wonderful and necessary opportunity for our organization. One imprisoned human rights activist and web designer we showcased, Saeed Malekpour was living and working in Canada as a permanent resident, when he was arrested in Iran in 2008. Initially, he was sentenced to death on charges of “allegedly designing and moderating pornographic websites”, all charges that are fabricated. His death sentence has been suspended because, according to the Iranian officials, he has “repented for his behavior”. He now faces life in prison. His case has been the focus of both Amnesty International and the Canadian government, but so far he still in prison. More pressure from the federal government is necessary, and his sister was present at our Ottawa exhibition to offer her support. We also expanded our photo exhibition to include many other human rights activists who, unfortunately, have been imprisoned since our Queen’s Park show, in the previous spring, including Atena Daemi, 28, human rights activist and teacher/union activist Esmail Abdi, both arrested in November 2016. Of course, none of this would be possible without our volunteer team, including many who put in countless hours to set up our show, and the two young women, Sophia Yeh, who videotaped and was the photographer for the event and Roya Ghahremani who interviewed participants and guests on camera. The significance of holding our show in Ottawa, and the impact that it could present, can not be stressed enough. The federal government, along with its provincial counterparts, in unison with the Canadian public, can and will put enough pressure on these human rights violators, and help expedite the release of those wrongfully imprisoned.