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2009 News Releases

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Hearing Begins in Zahra Kazemi Case

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For immediate release
1 December 2009

In 2003, photojournalist Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian, was arrested for taking pictures of protesters near a prison in Tehran. During her detention, she was severely tortured, beaten and sexually abused. She died of her injuries.

Ms. Kazemi's son, Stephan Hashemi, launched a lawsuit in Quebec in 2006 against the Government of Iran and three individual Iranian officials. Stephan is seeking moral, physical and punitive damages and is attempting to bring to justice those he believes were responsible for the torture and death of his mother.

Arguments will be made this week about the critical issue of the ability of Canadian victims of torture to sue foreign governments and individual foreign officials in Canadian courts. A private member's bill was also introduced in Parliament on November 26, with support from representatives of all federal parties, seeking to confirm the jurisdiction of Canadian civil courts over foreign governments in cases relating to torture.

What: Stephan Hashemi v. Islamic Republic of Iran

When: 9:00 am, 2 December 2009. The hearing is expected to run until 8 December 2009.

Where: Room 1409, Quebec Superior Court, 1 Notre-Dame Street East, Montréal



Canadian Centre for International Justice

Matt Eisenbrandt, Legal Coordinator
(613) 218-9909
Represented at the hearing by Sylvain Lussier & David Grossman, Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Lawyers for Stephan Hashemi
Irving Mitchell Kalichman

Kurt A. Johnson & Mathieu Bouchard
(514) 935-4460

Amnistie Internationale Canada Francophone

Anne Sainte-Marie
(514) 766-9766
Represented at the hearing by Prof. François Larocque, University of Ottawa

Read more about the Kazemi case

Read more about the CCIJ's campaign to amend the State Immunity Act.

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