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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 July, 2003, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Canada recalls envoy in Iran row
A frame grab from Iranian TV shows Iranians carrying the coffin of Zahra Kazemi
Ms Kazemi's mother apparently agreed to the burial in Iran
Canada says it is recalling its ambassador from Iran following the controversial burial of a Canadian journalist who died in Iranian police custody.

Zahra Kazemi, an Iranian-Canadian, died as a result of a severe blow to the head on 10 July after her arrest in Tehran on 23 June.

The Canadian authorities had backed her Montreal-based son's demands for her body to be returned to Canada.

Iranian state media said Ms Kazemi was buried on Wednesday in the south-western city of Shiraz, after her mother gave the go-ahead.

Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham told CBC television that the diplomat, Philip MacKinnon, would be back before the end of the week.

"We will examine with him and with our authorities as to what steps we wish to take to keep the pressure on the government of Iran," he said.

He also said: "We clearly want the remains of Madame Kazemi returned to Canada in accordance with the wishes of her family."

'Unsatisfactory' inquiry

The Canadian Government had expressed concern over Iran's unwillingness to return her body to Canada, despite the wishes of both her Iranian and Canadian relatives.

Mr Graham had earlier said that only the "full and swift prosecution" of those responsible for Ms Kazemi's death would "clearly demonstrate that [Iranian] officials are not allowed to act with impunity".

Zahra Kazemi
Zahra Kazemi was arrested while taking photos of Evin prison
Ms Kazemi, a 54-year-old photojournalist, was arrested outside Tehran's Evin prison, where she was taking photographs of protesters demanding the release of relatives locked up during last month's anti-regime protests.

It is thought she was never formally accused of a crime.

An Iranian presidential report released on Monday 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 investigator to conduct an investigation.

The rights group Reporters without Borders described the report's findings as "wholly unsatisfactory" and repeated its demands for an independent investigation.




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