Sunday, July 29, 2007

How do you feel about the American hostages in Iran?

By Mark Steyn

Via The Western Standard/The New York Sun

Two months in an Iranian jail is no fun. Four years ago, a Montreal photojournalist, Zahra Kazemi, was arrested by police in Tehran, taken to Evin prison, and wound up getting questioned to death. Upon her capture, the Canadian government had done as the State Department is apparently doing — kept things discreet, low-key, cards close to the chest, quiet word in the right ears … By the time Zahra Kazemi's son, frustrated by his government's ineffable equanimity, got the story out, it was too late for his mother.

Still, upon hearing of her death, the then Foreign Minister of Canada, Bill Graham, expressed his "sadness" and "regret," which are pretty strong words. But then, as Reuters put it, this sad regrettable incident had "marred previously harmonious relations between Iran and Canada." In his public pronouncements, Mr. Graham tended to give the impression that what he chiefly regretted and was sad about was that one of his compatriots had had the poor taste to get tortured and murdered on to the front pages of the newspapers.

With an apparently straight face, he passed on to reporters the official Iranian line that her death in jail was merely an "accident." The following year, Shahram Azam, a physician who'd examined Ms. Kazemi's body, fled Iran and said that she had broken fingers, a broken nose, a crushed toe, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, and internal damage consistent with various forms of rape. Quite an accident.

Read on...

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