Friday, June 26, 2009

Finally, a Lame Official Answer on Whether the Canadian Embassy has Helped Wounded Protesters in Iran

From Foreign Affairs Canada:

Dear Bill Amos,

In response to your concerns regarding the situation in Iran, we would like to share the following with you:

Reports on Saturday that the Canadian Embassy in Iran was turning away people seeking sanctuary are false. The Embassy was closed Saturday and there were no Canadians at the Embassy when the protests began.

We have been advised by other embassies in Tehran that they did not provide shelter to injured Iranians, as has been alleged.

Embassy staff has made every attempt to ensure services, particularly consular, remain unaffected by the situation.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, including the Canadian Embassy in Tehran, continues to provide consular assistance to Canadian citizens in-person, on the phone and through email.

In case of emergency consular assistance regarding Canadian citizens in Iran, please contact the Embassy of Canada in Tehran at 98 (21) 8152-0000 or the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre by calling collect to 613-996-8885 or by sending an email to

Hardly impressive.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An email appeal to clarify our Embassy's duties in Iran

Dear Prime Minister Harper and Minister Cannon,

As a concerned Canadian, I urge you to immediately clarify whether our embassy in Tehran is or is not helping wounded and injured protesters in Iran, and if we are not, to immediately change course and do so. The situation is clouded in confusion and many Canadians are demanding accurate information about what our country is doing to help these courageous Iranians who are exercising their democratic and human rights.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Our Shame in Tehran

All day long twitterers and Facebook users have been trying to determine if the Canadian embassy was going to join embassies from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Poland, Norway, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, and Switzerland and provide much-needed aid to injured and wounded protesters in Tehran.

There was never a clear answer, and it turned out the embassy was never open on Saturday. It was early Sunday but had no medical personnel on hand to provide any meaningful help. In fact, quoting -- "Foreign Affairs says that Canadian embassies do not normally offer asylum to individuals abroad but will provide temporary safe haven if there is an immediate threat or injury."

Other twitterers who actually contacted the embassy said Canadians could get help, but not Iranians. By Sunday morning Tehran time, the issue became moot as access to most embassies apparently was blocked by the Basij -- the self-styled Iranian militia.

The whole issue reveals how lame we have become as a democratic nation. Canada, once a beacon for other countries, is now a bystander, that may or may not be of any good to those courageous enough to stand up to tyranny who may be desperate for aid. It makes this Canadian feel quite ashamed.