Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird released the following statement on Monday on solidarity with prisoners in Iran:

“Canada remains deeply concerned by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s determination to use the courts and prison system as tools of repression. Hundreds of people are currently imprisoned in Iran simply for peacefully exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of speech, assembly and association.

“These teachers, lawyers, artists, writers, students, scientists and leaders have not only been deprived of their freedom, they are also systematically abused by Iranian officials and subjected to violent attack, torture, rape and threats against their loved ones. Others are simply executed.

“Iranian officials deny holding political prisoners, but these brave men and women are not unknown and they will not be forgotten. Canada offers its sincere condolences to those who have lost family or friends to Iran’s security apparatus and calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.”

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