Zahra Kazemi

   12 July 2005, late at night

A man handing out flyers at a vigil for Zahra Kazemi

I watched briefly as a group of Iranians sang songs and remembered the photographer Zahra Kazemi. Today marked the 2-year anniversary of her death. There is no mention of this, or anything else to do with Kazemi, in any of Toronto’s three major papers. This is probably because in two years basically nothing has changed with respect to this case. Two years is a pretty long time.

There was a handful of people out for the vigil. I didn’t stay long; it struck me as something organized by a small subset of the Iranian community for the Iranian community. It is a shame there seems to be very little interest in keeping this story alive outside the Persian community. People would walk by, take a flyer, and leave. That said, it is also a shame that the one group who organized a vigil did very little to promote it outside their own community. A Canadian national was tortured, raped, and killed in a foreign country—the fact that she was Iranian should really be secondary. This is something that every Canadian should feel effected by.

The sad thing is, as long as the government of Iran remains unchanged, I don’t see this case ever being resovled. I am not sure what Canada really can do in this matter. What sort of political pressure can a country such as ours exert on Iran, which has spent the past 20 years telling super powers to go fuck themselves? Still, on a day like today, some righteous indignation from an elected leader would be nice.



  1. I’m surprised that there isn’t more about this in the media considering the press freedom angle

    that said, i didn’t expect there to be any considerable attention from the canadian people, there’s less of an identification of someone as Canadian when theyre a minority. How many Canadians died in the Air India bombing? The reaction to that was what it was because the victims were identified as Indian first and Canadian second, maybe the same goes for Kazemi?

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