[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 26 July, 2004, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Mixed press for Kazemi verdict
Zahra Kazemi
Her killing has outraged Canada

Saturday's acquittal in Iran of the intelligence officer accused of killing the Canadian photographer Zahra Kazemi sparks outrage and anger in Canadian papers.

The Iranian press is more cautious in its reporting of the trial, although one hard-line daily says Western media outlets are mounting propaganda attacks against Iran.

The Calgary Sun calls the trial a "mockery of justice".

"It strains credibility to believe the authorities in Iran were actually prepared to find the killers of Zahra Kazemi and bring them to justice."

What a mockery this has been... It shows again that the Canadian government's stance of 'soft power' doesn't work
Calgary Sun

The paper believes the acquittal of the "Iranian counter-espionage agent Mohammad Reza Aghdam Ahmadi... shouldn't be surprising".

"After all, Ahmadi is one of the Iranian government's own men. It's more surprising anyone was indicted in the first place."

Blood money

The paper is particularly angry that Ms Kazemi's family was offered around $12,000 in "blood money" by the Iranian government as compensation for her death.

"Coincidentally, had the victim been a male, that amount would have been double, about $24,800," the paper says bitterly.

Canada must show its outrage over Iran's shabby and dishonourable response to the murder
Globe and Mail

"What a mockery this has been... It shows again that the Canadian government's stance of 'soft power' - speaking quietly in international affairs and trying not to upset anyone - doesn't work."

Toronto's Globe and Mail agrees, saying the trial is surrounded by the "stench of a cover-up".

"The time for patience is now over," it argues.

"Canada must show its outrage over Iran's shabby and dishonourable response to the murder... Unless the regime announces immediately that it is taking concrete, credible new measures to bring the killer or killers to justice, Canada should downgrade its permanent relations with the Islamic republic."

"The next step would be to curtail trade relations... Tehran must be made to feel the heat over its shameful record on domestic human rights."

'Show trial'

In Iran, the reporting of the trial verdict differs according to the domestic political stance of each paper.

I swear I will not rest until I find the murderer of Zahra Kazemi
Shirin Ebadi, quoted in Etemaad

Reformist papers seem to be more critical, with Farhang-e Ashti believing the hearing "exposed many realities" despite the attempt "to stage a show trial".

"The banning of newspapers... and the creation of a climate of fear to prevent the publication of news, proved to be in vain," the paper says.

"Foreign media, especially in Canada, covered news of the trial. They quoted Shirin Ebadi as saying that it was a show trial from the start."

The reformist Etemaad also highlights critical comments by Shirin Ebadi.

"Shirin Ebadi... rejected the competence of the court investigating the case of the murder of Zahra Kazemi," it reports.

The paper quotes Ms Ebadi: "I swear I will not rest until I find the murderer of Zahra Kazemi."

Interference

The conservative Khorasan is more circumspect, preferring to quote Canadian papers on protests in Ottawa against the verdict.

Following the acquittal... foreign radios and Western news agencies have intensified their attacks against Iran's system and our country's judiciary
Jomhuri-ye Eslami

The paper also gives prominence to "Iranian officials" who feel that "Canada's interference in this case is tantamount to interference in Iran's internal affairs."

The hard-line Jomhuri-ye Eslami offers a more robust view, accusing the Western media of mounting something akin to a propaganda war against Iran.

"Following the acquittal... foreign radios and Western news agencies have intensified their attacks against Iran's system and our country's judiciary," it says.

The paper's anger is apparent: "These radios... allege that by not allowing foreign diplomats to attend the trial, justice failed to be carried out and that the defence lawyers should be given the opportunity to renew their investigations!"

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Analysis: Iranian justice on trial
18 Jul 04  |  Middle East
Iran trial debacle angers Canada
18 Jul 04  |  Middle East
Cover-up claim at Iran agent trial
17 Jul 04  |  Middle East
Nobel winner takes on murder case
04 Nov 03  |  Middle East
Iran reformists denounce judges
28 Oct 03  |  Middle East
Khatami blasts custody death trial
08 Oct 03  |  Middle East


RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific