Mr. Speaker, this Thursday, 13 Jewish-Iranian men will be put on trial in Iran on false charges of espionage.
Even if one sets aside the critical issues of religious freedom raised by this case, what is clear is that these men have the right to a fair trial under Article 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
That right includes access to legal representation of their own choosing and adequate time to prepare their defence in an open trial which international observers are free to attend and monitor. Unfortunately, at this point it appears that these men will be tried in a closed, Iranian revolutionary court without their chosen legal counsel.
The NDP joins the international community in demanding that these 13 Jewish-Iranians receive a fair trial. We call upon the Iranian government to ensure religious freedom for all its citizens, regardless of their faith.