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Iran high court orders new probe into Canadian journalist death

[JURIST] The Iranian Supreme Court [official website] has ordered a new probe in the case of murdered Iranian-Canadian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi [CBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] on an appeal of a lower court order that the case be reopened, a representative of the court said Tuesday. Kazemi died under suspicious circumstances in 2003 while under the custody of Iranian officials for photographing a demonstration outside a Tehran prison. Her family has repeatedly requested a new investigation into Kazemi's death since evidence surfaced that she may have been tortured and raped [JURIST report] before her death. In November 2005, an Iranian appeals court ordered that the murder investigation be reopened [JURIST report], and upheld the acquittal of the intelligence officer tried for Kazemi's murder, due to the possibility that others may have been involved in her death.

The case has severely strained relations between Iran and Canada. In 2005, Iran denied Canada's demands for her body [JURIST report], saying Canada had no authority since Iran does not recognize dual nationality. In addition, Canadian observers were denied access to the original trial in which the intelligence officer was acquitted [JURIST report] and the court ruled Kazemi's death an accident [JURIST report]. CBC News has more.

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