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Canada pressing for arrest of Iran prosecutor wanted for Kazemi death

[JURIST] Canada authorities confirmed Friday that they had asked Germany to detain Iranian prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi [Wikipedia backgrounder] if he passed through German territory after attending the inaugural meeting of the UN Human Rights Council [official website] in Geneva, Switzerland, as an observer. Mortazavi is widely suspected of being present in July 2003 when Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder] died from a blow to her head while in Iranian custody, and of orchestrating a cover-up of the incident. Iran Thursday received nearly universal condemnation [JURIST report] for sending Mortazavi to the human rights meeting.

Canadian Foreign Minister Peter Mackay reportedly asked German officials to detain Mortazavi if he came though Germany so that he might be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Mortazavi ended up flying directly to Tehran from Geneva, but Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [official website] said Friday that Canada would continue to press a case against him: "We're appealing to the international community to use all manner of law available to detain this individual, and have him face justice." AFP has more. Canadian Press has additional coverage.

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