IRI vs. Ziba Kazemi

The only case where the Islamic Republic has been forced to defend itself in court


IRI vs. Ziba Kazemi
by Shahrzad Arshadi

What a day! On march 8, 2010, on the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, we were at Montreal’s courthouse for the last day of trial for Ziba Kazemi’s case against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Trial started at 9:15 AM and ended at 12:15 PM. The courtroom was packet with supporters, many of which were standing in the room while others were waiting outside. A majority of the audience, including Stephan Kazemi, were wearing unified black T-shirts with Ziba kazemi’s portrait printed in front with the phrase “She is still alive” under it. Stephan told reporters; “she represents all of us who are repressed and who are victims of this regime.”

Trial started with arguments from the defense for the Iranian government followed by those of the Canadian government! Both legal teams, Iran’s and Canada’s, were trying to point out Stephan’s lawsuit is against Canada’s State Immunity Act and for that he is not allowed to sue Iran in Canada.

Both Iran and Canada’s lawyers argued; what happened to Ms. Kazemi was inside Iran’s territory and under the Iranian law. What Mortazavi or Mohamad Bakhshi did to Ziba Kazemi was part of their job; thus giving them immunity as government officials!

Montreal lawyer James Woods (Iranian government lawyer) said; “Iran and its leader could not be sued and that immunity extends to civil servants and government employees such as Mortazavi and Bakhshi, who were acting on behalf of the state, for that they have to benefit from the State Immunity Act.”

On Stephan Kazemi’s side, his lawyers, the Canadian Centre for International Justice and Amnesty International Canada argued the lawsuit against Iran must be allowed to go forward in Canada in the interest of justice.

All four lawyers from Stephan’s side pointed out many interesting and intelligent argument against the Iranian and Canadian government’s lawyers.

* Kurt Johnson and Matieu Bouchared, Stephan kazemi’s Lawyers argued the case should proceed in Canada because it would be impossible to get a fair trial in Iran.

"When acts of torture are being cloaked with immunity, that is simply wrong," said lawyer Kurt Johnson.

Stephan ‘s Lawyer emphasized: “We're arguing on a number of grounds, but basically for a general exception in cases of torture, there shouldn't be immunity because it amounts to impunity in that case."

Quebec Superior Court Justice Robert Mongeon ended the trial mentioning that he realizes the importance of this case and for that he point out his decision will take quite a bit of time because of all the documentation and the complexity of the case.

Judge Robert Mongeon now must decide whether Iran and its officials should benefit from immunity from civil prosecution.

I have to mention that Judge Mongeon was amazingly supportive of the case all thought the trial. We all have great hope that the verdict will be in favor of Stephan Kazemi, in our favor.

But let's not forget what ever the verdict will be, until now we can and must celebrate a great victory; Because, it is only with this case that the Iranian government has been forced to hire lawyers and defend itself in front of a court.

They will not force us_
They will stop degrading us_
They will not control us_
We will be victorious

March 9, 2010




by aynak on

The Islamic Regimes "justice" system is a very interesting one indeed.   The same "justice" Mortazavi who repeatedly hit Ms.Kazemi on her head with a shoe, and there were puncture in her skull due to this --torture-- later on was in charge of Kahrizak.   It wouldn't have come out, that under his supervision, the jaw of several students and protesters were broken and some were raped.   --Khmanaee justice---.   Except, the son of a prominent regime supporter Roh-Ol-Amin, whose son was also arrested, taken to Kahrizak and later found dead was among the victims.   When  the family of Roh-Ol-Amin got their sons body, they noticed the broken jaw, and broken bone and numerous torture sign.   All by the same Ghazi mortazavi and his friends.      Anyone having a doubt  about any of this, please follow the case of Dr.Pour-Andarjani, who was serving his term in the Army (as a doctor) and was about to be called for testimony.   Dr.Pourandar Jani was murdered, while under supervision of Islamic Regime security forces.  (He was poisend).   You torture supporting, freak who asks for evidence, may think you have cleaned up all the evidence, but your process is so dumb that it would take the IQ of Ahmadi-Nejad to get any other conclusion.   But even your rahbar called it a Jenayat (crime), except he never takes responsibility for his guys committing crime.   As a result, not a single individual has been arrested, except your beloved Mortazavi has been ==demoted== to head of another organization.  

Anonymous Observer

JJ Jan why do you allow these characters on your site?

by Anonymous Observer on

This Yahoo character has been blocked several times under various usernames, the last one being a couple of days ago when he wrote under "Yabo-Yahoo."  Now he's back under a new username spamming the site with these disgusting comments about an innocent woman who was beaten and tortured to death by a savage and barbaric regime.  He's even gone as far as coming up with some fantasy about her being a spy, etc.  Ms. Kazemi was arrested in front of the Evin prison when she was talking to mothers of students who had bee arrested during the unrest in 1998.  The mothers had gathered in front of Evin to ask about the welfare of their children who had been arrested and had not been heard from.  

So, the question is how far you would go with users such as this character?  How many times does he have to get blocked for being abusive, and then allowed back under a different username just so that he can engage in the same type of abuse?  Do you really need someone on your site who brags about the torture of an innocent human being and describes it in great detail and with great pleasure?  I know that you are a fervent supporter of free speech.  But there is a line between speech and disgusting behavior such as this that would not be tolerated on any other site.   

Just my two cents on the issue.  This is obviously your site and you can do with it as you please. 



by cyclicforward on

This is very interesting and you should tell us more. It seems to me you had something to do with this and I am sure both American and Canadian government would like to hear more from you. You piece of dirt.



by Jo on

May I ask where you've got your info on Kazemi's torture scenes from? Any link to any source? Thanks.



I wish they asked the judge for the following settlement

by aynak on


Since Ms.Kazemi was tortured and murdered while fullfilling her duty as a journalist, would it not have been a great settlement for the judge to rule --establishment of an independent media outlet, using Islamic Regimes funds to beam alternative news to Iran--

Of course her son Stephen could be tasked with overseeing the operation of such media.

Just a throught.


What about that bill?

by Quebeqi on

I heard that a private bill might be presented at the House of Commons by MP Irvin Cotler that may lift the immunity of foreign governments being sued by Canadians like Mr. Kazemi. Is this project still around? If so, will it become a law before this case is completed?

For the time being, don't give up and go talk to the French media, especially Le Réseau TVA and LCN, about this case. They seem more open to Iran's sufferings than Radio-Canada and their branchés friends of the Plateau.