Liberal MP calls for release of journalist held in Iran
Liberal MP Dan McTeague on Saturday called on Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon to secure the release of a Canadian journalist being held in Iran.
Maziar Bahari, a reporter for Newsweek, has been detained in Iran since June when protests broke out in the aftermath of national elections.
Iran accuses Bahari of being a spy.
McTeague said Iranian authorities should recognize that Bahari, who entered the country on his Iranian passport, is a Canadian citizen.
He said Iran should also be given assurances that at no time was Bahari working for the Canadian government.
The Canadian government has tried to get the journalist out of detention.
In late August, while at the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Conference in Turkey, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon pressed Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to release Bahari.
"Minister Cannon reiterated Canada's grave concern over Iran's disrespect for basic human rights, unacceptable treatment and continued unjustified detention of Mr. Bahari," spokesperson Natalie Sarafian said in a statement from the minister's office on Saturday.
"Canada has previously called for the release of Mr. Bahari and demanded immediate consular access, full legal rights, his protection and clarification of the allegations against him."
Bahari has been living in and covering Iran for the past decade for various news organisations.