From: Ismail Zayid
To: Mr. Lloyd Axworthy M.P.
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2000 12:09 AM
Subject: Trials in Iran and Israel
Canada Palestine Association
Halifax, NS., B3J 2X1
2 July 2ooo
The Hon. Mr. Lloyd Axworthy.
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dear Mr. Axworthy:
We read with interst and surprise your statement on the recent trials and conviction of 10 Iranian Jews of spying. Your statement spoke of grave concern over the convictions and that Canada believes the trials were seriously flawed.
Personally, I have no substantive evidence to make a valid judgement on these trials and I do not believe you have such evidence either. Incidentally, the trial involved 13 Jewish and 4 Muslim Iranians, and 10 Jewish and 2 Muslim Iranians were convicted.
Be that as it may, I am amazed about the lack of similar expression of concern on your part about the conduct of Israeli trials of Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians have been held and tortured for many years in Israeli prisons without charge or trial. Thousands of Palestinians have been convicted in Israeli Military Courts on the basis of confessions obtained under torture and written in Hebrew, a language the Palestinians do not know, and with no charges or evidence offered to their Jewish Lawyers. This has been repeatedly documented and condemned by Israeli Jewish lawyers like Felicia Langer and Lea Tsemel and repeatedly documented by B’tselem, the Israeli Human Rights Group, and The Israeli Commission for Civil and Human Rights.
The question that continues to puzzle us is why, in the eyes of our government and those in Washington, must Israel remain above international law and with this unique immunity from criticism, unlike other nations in the world?
President, Canada Palestine Association