A letter to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Picture of a protest Toronto, Canada. 2020

October  1, 2020       

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, P.C., M.P. Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0A6

Dear Minister Champagne,       

As a Canadian group that acts to promote human rights in the middle east, we would like to express our deep concern about recent events in Iran, including the execution of Navid Afkari, the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters and the shooting down of the Ukrainian jetliner in January, killing 176 people including 57 Canadians. We ask the government of Canada to take concrete and specific steps to pressure the regime in Iran for its gross human rights violations.

  1. In June 2018, the Canadian Parliament passed a resolution in which IRGC was to be immediately designated as a terrorist organization. Unfortunately, the Government of Canada and the two responsible ministries, the Global Affairs Canada and the Department of Interior have been ignoring the implementation of this resolution for more than two years. The Government of Canada should immediately designate IRGC as a terrorist entity and stop any trade with its commanders and any investment by their family members, who use these investments to launder money in Canada.
  2. Implement the Magnitsky Act, passed by the House of Commons in October 2017 and sanction human rights violators in Iran.
    • The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Seyed Ali Khamenei, personally ordered the crackdown on the peaceful protest of students on July 7, 2006. He also ordered the killing of more than 1,500 protesters in November 2019. The commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are dismissed and installed on his orders and are under his command. He is the most anti-Semitic leader in the world who controls a lot of financial resources in Iran. He must be sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act, and the Anti-terrorism Act passed in 2001.
    • Sanction Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Islamic Republic’s chief apologist, who whitewashes the execution of political prisoners.
  3. Take the pursuit of justice seriously for the victims of the PS752 passenger plane which was shot down by the IRGC and hold the regime in Iran accountable. This crime should not be considered as a simple mistake by the “operator”. It should be investigated fully. Without knowing the whole truth, one cannot take steps towards the administration of justice. Pressure the regime in Iran to reveal the whole truth. Unless and until the regime conforms, boycott the Iranian airspace.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. 

MEHR Center