Canada ups pressure on Iran to let environmentalist's wife leave

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Ottawa (AFP)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his foreign minister on Tuesday demanded that Iran allow the Canadian widow of an environmentalist who died in prison to leave the country.

In a Twitter message, the Canadian leader said: "Iran must allow Maryam Mombeini to leave the country and travel to Canada to be with her family."

He was echoed by Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who said in a statement: "We continue to call on Iranian authorities to immediately give Maryam Mombeini, a Canadian citizen, the freedom to return home."

As well, the pair renewed calls for the Iranian regime to explain how her husband, Kavous Seyed Emami, an academic and environmentalist, died in Tehran's Evin prison in February.

Canada is "gravely concerned" about Seyed Emami's death," Freeland said.

"The regime must provide answers in the death of her husband, Kavous Seyed Emami, in Evin prison," Trudeau said.

Seyed Emami was arrested in January and accused of spying for Israel and the United States. Iranian authorities said he committed suicide in his cell, but this has been disputed by the family.

Earlier this month, Mombeini and her two sons sought to leave Iran, but she was detained at the airport in Tehran.

Iran does not recognize dual nationalities.