According to a report by Canadian Press, supporters of an Iranian democratic group are calling on Canada to take a harder line against Iran after recent arrests of dissidents in that country. About 150 protesters shouted slogans, carried placards and waved flags in front of the Department of Foreign Affairs on Saturday afternoon.
"We are asking the Canadian government to take a firmer policy against the Iranian regime," said organizer Shahram Golestaneh.
The protesters, representing the National Council of Resistance of Iran, were scheduled to present their resolution to a Foreign Affairs official following the rally.
Golestaneh said Canada and other countries could impose trade restrictions on Iran to pressure the government to release the dissidents.
More than 40 member of the Freedom Movement, including university professors and students, have been detained by orders of a conservative-dominated court on charges of attempting to overthrow the Islamic regime. Six of them have been released.
The arrests have been condemned by President Mohammad Khatami and the reformist parliament. The Ministry of Interior has said that it had nothing to do with the arrests, throwing blame on the judiciary, which has also closed down a number of newspapers and magazines in the Islamic republic.
Other participants in Canada wanted to see more drastic measures taken.
"We condemn the new wave of executions, torture and arrests in Iran. Mulah's leader must be tried in an international tribunal," read a large banner.
The arrests came as Iran prepares for a presidential election in June that critics say will be boycotted by the majority of Iranians because they believe the process to be illegitimate.
President Khatami has announced his candidacy for a second term – Albawaba.com
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