US-Iran face off at World Freestyle Wrestling
AP[ SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2003 11:44:18 AM ]
NEW YORK: Iran and the United States split the last two matches at the opening day of the World Freestyle Championships Friday.
Iran's Hadi Habibi beat Joe Williams 3-1 in overtime in the 163-pound (73-kilogramme) class. Two minutes later Cael Sanderson defeated Majid Khodaee of Iran 8-2 at 185 pounds (83 kilogrammes).
US wrestlers had won their first 20 matches in the two sessions of pool competition before the two highly anticipated matchups between American and Iranian wrestlers.
``We train to win every match. We were excited about our performance, but we feel as bad about the one loss as we are happy about the 21 wins,'' United States coach Bobby Douglas said.
Williams was thrown for three points as overtime began and the contingent of Iranian fans erupted and the crowd estimated at 6,000 chanted back and forth.
Eric Guerrero of the United States won two matches at 132 pounds (59 kilogrammes), including a 3-1 overtime win over Mohammad Talaei of Iran.
Other American victories included Sara McMann pinning world silver medallist Sara Erikkson of Sweden at 138 3/4 pounds (62 kilogrammes) and Stephen Abas winning twice in overtime at 121 pounds (54 kilogrammes), including a 3-1 victory over 2002 Olympic gold medallist Abdullaev Yadulla of Azerbaijan.
``I set a goal a long time ago to be a world champion,'' Abas said. ``I have to clear the pool to do that.''
Svetlana Martynenko of Russia upset women's world 67-kilogramme champion Katerina Burmistrova of Ukraine 3-1 in the first session of the pool competiton at the World Freestyle Championships.
Also, Tanabe Chickara of Japan edged 2001 world 55-kilogramme champion German Kontoev of Belarus 11-10 at Madison Square Garden.
The world championships were to be held in New York in September 2001, but were moved to Bulgaria following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
American men won world championships in 1993 and 1995 and the women won in 1999.
Seventy countries are represented in the competition that runs through Sunday. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=180255
((Signs of friendship between 2 great nations))
Groups push for Kazemi probe
By MICHELLE MACAFEE
MONTREAL (CP) - Ottawa is not doing enough to pursue all legal avenues, in Canada and abroad, to bring justice in the case of a Canadian photojournalist slain in Iran, several journalism and human rights groups said Friday.
The coalition, joined by Zahra Kazemi's son, released a letter sent this week to Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham, Justice Minister Martin Cauchon and Immigration Minister Denis Coderre. The letter asks the Canadian government to "act promptly to ensure those responsible for Ms. Kazemi's death do not benefit from impunity."
Specifically, the groups want Ottawa to:
- Investigate all cases of torture of Canadians abroad in accordance with the Criminal Code.
- Present Kazemi's case to the United Nations and ask it to lead an investigation through its Human Rights Commission.
- And submit an appeal to the International Court of Justice concerning violations of the Vienna Convention that prevented Kazemi, who had dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship, from getting proper consular protection.
Catherine Duhamel of the International Judicial Resources Centre said the coalition does not have wild expectations.
"It's a start," Duhamel told a news conference. "Two laws in Canada concerning Mrs. Kazemi's case are applicable. Why not use them? Start using them and see what happens."
Other groups which signed the letter include Amnesty International, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, Reporters Without Borders and the Canadian Association of Journalists.
They are part of a growing political and non-governmental response to Kazemi's violent death earlier this summer.
Kazemi died July 10 after sustaining head injuries while in custody in Tehran. Her death came nearly three weeks after she was detained for taking photographs outside a prison during student-led protests. After 77 hours of interrogation, she was rushed to a hospital's intensive care unit where she died 14 days later.
The body was buried in Iran despite pleas from Ottawa and Kazemi's Montreal-based son, Stephan Hachemi, that it be returned to Canada.
Hachemi reiterated his call at the news conference for Ottawa to get tough with Iran.
"Now that the Canadian government has been truly humiliated, I understand that for the honour of two Canadian citizens - my mother and myself - it doesn't want to lose important diplomatic relations," Hachemi said.
"But for its honour, I think the government should show a lot more resolve."
Isabelle Savard, a spokeswoman for Graham, said the minister had not yet seen the coalition's letter.
While he is prepared to look at the legal options available within Canada, he is already busy trying to "internationalize the issue," said Savard.
Graham addressed the issue of protecting all journalists around the world during a meeting in Washington this week with Secretary of State Colin Powell. Earlier this month Graham also pressed European allies to demand Iran prosecute those responsible for Kazemi's death.
"The only way to get through to a government like the Iranian government is to address this with other countries . . . in order that at some point people speak with a common voice," Savard said in a telephone interview.
Kazemi's death has also attracted the attention of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who said recently he was "highly concerned" and promised to raise the issue with Iran.
Savard said Graham has already asked that the UN Human Rights Commission address the case.
Duhamel said the coalition will give the government time to respond to its specific requests, but has plans for further action if it's not satisfied with the results. http://www.canoe.com/CNEWS/Canada/2003/09/12/184558-cp.html