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A who’s who of former political prisoners stepped up at the University of Toronto last week to campaign for the release of a Victoria man jailed and tortured in Iran.

There was Mohamed Fahmy, the journalist sprung from an Egyptian prison in 2015 after pressure from the Canadian government.

There was Homa Hoodfar, the Montreal university academic whose feminism got her locked up by Iran for four months last year until Ottawa helped win her release.

And there was Mostafa Azizi, a Toronto filmmaker whose 15 months in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison included time in the same cell block as the Victorian, Saeed Malekpour.

“The only way to get Saeed out of prison is to make him a big enough liability to the IRGC,” Nayeb Yazdi says. That won’t happen unless Trudeau and Foreign Affairs push the issue. “Saeed’s life is in their hands. They’re the only ones who can get him released.”

Yet that’s not happening. The federal Liberals, who have been vocal about other rights cases, have been dead quiet about Saeed as they work to re-establish relations with Iran. “I really did think Justin Trudeau would care, but I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t look like he does,” she says. “They’re turning a blind eye.”

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