Good evening, everyone. It is my pleasure to be in this meeting today. My name is Kamran Saghah, and I am a resident of Vancouver, B.C., and a proud citizen of Canada.
The violation of human rights in Iran is a book of untold stories that pain the hearts of every human being. Iran's shameful record of human rights has ordered the Iranian regime as the number one executor of the world capital. The merciless judiciary system of the mullahs is responsible for the execution of more than 120,000, including juveniles, the elderly, dual citizens and pregnant women.
I myself have spent part of my youth in Iran prisons and have first-hand witnessed unimaginable brutalities. I was charged for reading the newspaper of the MEK, the group that was opposing the regime. We were a group of five people doing mandatory two-year military service in the summer of 1981. My so-called trial lasted about three minutes, with no lawyer and no chance to defend myself. The face of the so-called “Judge” Fallahi and his sentence have become part of my permanent memory.
Detainment, torture and execution are in fact a way of survival of this regime. Allow me to refer to a few.
There was the massacre of more than 30,000 political prisoners in the summer of 1988. In fact, Ebrahim Raisi, the leading presidential candidate in Iran, was part of the death committee responsible for the massacre, which took my best friend, Amir Anjadani, and some of my relatives, like Ahmad and Agha Mohammad Tasharrofi.
Ali Younesi and Amirhosein Moradi, two international award-winning students, were arrested in April 2020 and charged with a series of accusations of violent acts. Amnesty International said that while detained in separate rooms, Ali Younesi and Amirhosein Moradi had been sleeping on the floor, and were also at times detained alongside individuals accused of violent offences. Amnesty believed that they remained held in section 209 to pressure them to make forced confessions.
More than 150 innocent protesters were killed in daylight by the regime guards in November 2019. More than 4,500 arrested, and many of them are still in prison. The protesters were protesting a sharp spike in fuel prices.
Navid Afkari, 27 years old, a gold-medallist champion wrestler, was executed in September 2020, accused of taking part in anti-government protests. The case set off a campaign by international sports groups to demand clemency for the athletes. His brothers were also arrested, and are still in prison.
Then there was the shooting down of the Ukrainian passenger plane with IRGC missiles, killing 176 people, including many Canadian citizens. It's worth noting that the Ontario Superior Court has ruled it an act of terrorism.
More than 4,300 people have been executed in Iran during Rouhani's tenure. As of now, they include 118 women. The actual number of executions, and particularly executions of women, is much higher. The clerical regime carries out most executions in secret and out of the public eye.
I wish I had more time to draw a more detailed picture of the pain and misery that the people of Iran have endured in the last 42 years.
I want to plead with you not to forget political prisoners in Iran.
Mr. Arzhang Davoodi, a mechanical engineer from Texas, has been languishing for 18 years in various Iranian jails without a single day of furlough. There is Dr. Saeed Masoori, Mr. Saeed Sangar, and the list goes on.
Despite all these painful years, the future of Iran is as bright as a shining star. The dismay, discontent and dissatisfaction of the people of Iran have reached an explosive level. The quests for freedom, peace, a nuclear-free Iran, free elections, gender equality, etc. are all embedded in the 10-point plan of Mrs. Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran for a prosperous Iran.
On behalf of many thousands of Iranian Canadians, I urge the Canadian government and every single one of you to support us for a free Iran, in as many ways as you are able to.
I thank you for the opportunity and look forward to answering your questions.