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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Medical probe into death of Canadian-Iranian journalist

Thursday, July 17, 2003 - ©2003

A medical team in Iran has completed its probe into the cause of death of a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who died after her arrest here, the student news agency ISNA reported Thursday, the day after the country's vice president said her brain haemorrhage was caused by a beating.

The agency did not give the results of the findings, but said they had been passed on to a cabinet team and judge appointed by President Mohammad Khatami to investigate the death, which has severely damaged Iran's image and strained relations with Canada.

ISNA said the government team, including Health Minister Massoud Pezeshkian and 15 surgeons from the coroner's office, discussed the findings for six hours. Government officials were not immediately available for comment.

Zahra Kazemi was arrested on June 23 for taking photographs of protestors outside Evin prison in northern Tehran who were demanding the release of relatives locked up during last month's wave of anti-regime protests, demonstrations that were met with a tough crackdown.

She was transferred three days later to Baghiatollah Azam hospital -- which is run by the hardline Revolutionary Guards -- where she died. Iranian authorities initially said Kazemi fell ill while she was being questioned.

But on Wednesday, reformist Vice President Mohammad Ali Abtahi made the dramatic allegation that the death of 54-year-old Kazemi was linked to a wave of arrests carried out by regime hardliners who, he said, were seeking to undermine the embattled pro-reform camp.

"She died of a brain haemorrhage caused by a beating," Abtahi told reporters after a cabinet meeting, giving a preliminary result of a government inquiry.

However, the Iranian government has refused demands by Canada to conduct its own autopsy. Iran does not recognise dual nationality.

The case has dealt a major blow to Iran's relations with Canada, which, like the European Union and in contrast to the United States, has been seeking to engage the Islamic republic's elected reformist government.

Canada's Prime Minister Jean Chretien pressed Iran on Wednesday to punish those responsible for Kazemi's death, saying that "if crimes have been committed, we're demanding of the Iranian government to punish those who committed the crime."

"And we will push that case because if it is the case, it is completely unacceptable that the journalist go there to do professional work and be treated that way."

Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham for his part said Canada holds Iranian authorities responsible for Kazemi's death "until proven otherwise."

But he added: "We must give the Iranian government time to complete its investigation."

He said he had spoken by phone with his Iranian counterpart, Kamal Kharazi, who told him the photographer had died of a "cerebral fracture." Kharazi did not say she had been beaten.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
4 posted on 07/18/2003 12:26:30 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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To: Ernest_at_the_Beach; Pan_Yans Wife; fat city; freedom44; Tamsey; Grampa Dave; PhiKapMom; ...
Since where Powell stands on the war on terror is important to the Iranian protest movment, I thought you might be interested in this development...

Powell Panel Has Surprising Slant

Critic: Not a Bush List, a State Dept. List
New York Sun, 7.17.2003
By IRA STOLL Staff Reporter of the Sun

It has a former CNN official — but no one from Fox News.

It has an official of the dovish Israel Policy Forum — but no one from more mainstream or centrist Jewish organizations.

It has one member who donated to the Gore-Lieberman campaign, another who gave to Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign, and two who supported the Arab American Leadership Council Political Action Committee, which funds extremist critics of President Bush’s foreign policy and of Israel such as Reps. Jim Moran, Earl Hilliard, and Cynthia McKinney.

A group on the left-wing fringe of Democratic foreign policy? Nope, this is an advisory group to the Bush administration named this week with the approval of Secretary of State Powell.

The 14-member panel, known as the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World of the U.S.Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, held its first meetings in Washington on July 8 and 9, before its members were publicly announced.

A commission spokesman, Matt Lauer, told The New York Sun that the group’s chairman, Edward Djerejian, “did work with Secretary Powell” and an assistant secretary of state, Patricia Harrison, in coming up with the members of the group. A State Department official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed that Mr. Powell “did sign off” on the appointees.

The group came under immediate criticism from some Middle East policy analysts.

“It’s a curious list. It’s essentially a Democratic list, I mean, big-D Democratic,” said the director of the Middle East Forum, Daniel Pipes, who was a Middle East policy official in the Reagan administration.

“It’s not so much a Bush administration list as it is a State Department list,” Mr. Pipes said.

The director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Hudson Institute, Meyrav Wurmser, called the group “imbalanced” and “obviously very onesided.”She warned that the group’s recommendations would probably reflect the people on the panel.

A press release announcing the panel said,“The advisory group was assembled at the request of Congress to study the efficacy of the Department of State’s public diplomacy efforts aimed in these regions and recommend policy initiatives.The advisory group, through the U.S. Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, will report its findings and recommendations to the President, the Congress, and the Secretary of State.”

Mr. Djerejian, a former American ambassador to Syria, is scheduled to appear on July 24 at a public meeting in Washington of the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy. There he’s expected to update the full commission on the advisory group’s activities.

“Public diplomacy” has become a buzzword in foreign policy circles following the terrorist attacks of September 11, in part owing to a view that may be crudely summarized as the notion that if America could only explain itself better on television and radio and in Arab newspapers, fewer terrorists would want to attack Americans.

Mr. Lauer, the commission spokesman, called the members “a good group” that “represents a variety of different positions.”

The State Department official noted that the group does include at least some Republicans and is intended to be bipartisan in nature.

Some of the members have previously and publicly expressed views on public diplomacy. Mamoun Fandy, for instance, told PBS’s NewsHour, “It would be probably very good if the person carrying America’s message to the Muslim world is a Muslim himself, or a native speaker of the language that he’s broadcasting. So at least there is a level of trust, and the basic problem between America and the Muslim world is the gap in trust.”

Of the other members, Stephen P. Cohen was identified in the release as being affiliated with the Israel Policy Forum. He was the subject of scrutiny last December when he acknowledged that he “made contacts between business people in Israel and the Arab world” engaged in a Middle East business deal while functioning as a Middle East policy analyst.An associate of one of his partners in the deal told an Israeli newspaper that the partner “made millions” through commissions on gas and cement deals between Israeli companies and the Palestinian Authority.

George Salem, a Washington lawyer, and John Zogby, a pollster, both donated to the Arab American Leadership Council Political Action Committee. Mr. Salem also donated individually to Rep. Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat.

Harold Pachios, another member of the group, gave to the Bradley campaign.

Shibley Telhami, another member of the group, gave to the Gore-Lieberman campaign.

Judy Milestone, another member of the group, is a former senior vice president of CNN.

Mr. Zogby’s polling firm conducted a survey of 3,800 Arab adults that was commissioned by the Arab Thought Foundation, a charity funded with at least $17 million from Saudi royalty and prominent businessmen, including $1.5 million from Bakr Bin Laden, the estranged brother of Osama bin Laden.

A spokesman for Mr. Djerejian, who is the director of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University, said Mr. Djerejian was traveling and unavailable for comment yesterday evening.

Officials familiar with the panel, whose members serve on a part-time, unpaid basis, said that no federal financial disclosure forms are required for members.

"If you want on or off this Iran ping list, Freepmail me”
6 posted on 07/18/2003 12:32:56 AM PDT by DoctorZIn (IranAzad... Until they are free, we shall all be Iranians!)
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