BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 11:53 GMT 12:53 UK
Canada accused of killing Iranian
Zahra Kazemi
The Canadian-Iranian journalist died after being arrested in Tehran
Iran has accused Canadian police of killing a young Iranian as tensions continue over the death of a Canadian journalist in Iranian custody earlier this month.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman has demanded that Canada "give an explicit, transparent and satisfactory explanation" of the alleged incident in Vancouver on Tuesday.

According to Iranian state media, police officers attacked three young Iranians - causing the death of a man named as Keyvan Tabesh and injuring the others.

There was no immediate response from Canada.

On Wednesday, Ottawa condemned the burial of Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi in Iran - which was apparently against her family's wishes - and said it was recalling its ambassador from Tehran and considering sanctions.

Ms Kazemi, 54, died on 10 July, more than two weeks after her arrest for taking pictures outside a prison.

An Iranian report said she died in custody from a severe blow to the head which fractured her skull and caused a brain haemorrhage.

The report failed to say how and why the injury was inflicted, but called for an independent investigation.

Turning the tables

Iran also defended the decision to bury the photojournalist in the city of Shiraz on Wednesday, saying they had the go-ahead from her mother.

But Ms Kazemi's son, Montreal-based Stephan Hachemi, has said his 75-year-old grandmother was "forced" to authorise the burial.

The coffin of Zahra Kazemi being carried by Iranians in Shiraz
The journalist's burial in Iran has sparked anger in Canada
Canada backed Mr Hachemi's calls for her body to be returned to Canada for a post-mortem and burial.

It has criticised Tehran for not doing more to bring those responsible to justice.

The Iranian foreign minister spokesman, Hamid Reza Asefi, turned the tables on Canada by calling for a fully inquiry into the alleged death of the Iranian man.

"Why have Canadian police, who should safeguard the security of the people, committed this disgraceful crime which scared Iranian citizens living in Canada?" he was quoted as saying.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific