May 14, 2012
International Center for Human Rights
298 Sheppard Avenue W. North York, ON M2N
Tel-fax: 1 (888) 908-7317
The Honourable Jason Kenney, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Jean Edmonds Building, South Tower, 21st Floor
365 Laurier Street West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Re: Closure of Visa and Immigration Section in Iran
Dear Minister Kenny,
We, at the International Centre for human Rights (ICHR), also as the representative of the Iranian Community, wish to present before you in this letter, our concern and perspective regarding your office's decision with respect to the permanent closure of the Canadian Embassy’s visa department in Tehran, Iran, which this has not only concerned the Iranian-Canadians as well as their respective relatives in Iran.
I am writing on behalf of the International Center for Human Rights (ICHR), a civil society organization for worldwide human rights, to address the concerns of this organization and the Iranian community at large, who have expressed their voice and a significant level of concern regarding the aforementioned matter.
We do not believe that the permanent closure of the visa office in Tehran was the optimal decision with respect to the effect it possesses on the Iranian community, either as a result of “budgeting measures" or “limitation of financial interaction between two countries”.
ICHR, as an active Non-Governmental-Organization for Human Rights, which is dedicated and objected solely to serve the Iranians within the Iranian borders, and the Iranian Canadian community in Canada, finds Canadian policies in favour of supporting human rights worldwide. However, we believe the decision made by CIC at this time, will only not benefit the Iranian community, but also hurt the chances of Iranians in fair and easy access to the Canadian Embassy regarding obtaining visa.
I understand that you have closed a few visa offices in other countries and visa applicants should go to another visa section, however ICHR finds the decision against human rights. We support diplomatic sanctions against Islamic Republic of Iran however the closure of visa section will only cause hardship for people of Iran.
Therefore, I would like to ask for the opportunity to meet and further discuss the aforementioned matter in a greater detail with you in person in an attempt to perhaps provide a fair and functional resolution regarding this matter. ICHR strongly believes that Canadian government, is one of the most respected country in the world with respect to human rights measures, has no desire to expose the people of Iran in hardship while they are already suffering from the present large extend of human rights abuses.
Hassan Zarezadeh Ardeshir
The International Center for Human Rights in Iran
CC: The Honourable John Baird, the Minister of Foreign Affairs