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Updated: Tue, 24 Sep 2013 07:54:40 GMT | By The Canadian Press, cbc.ca

Toronto's Hamid Ghassemi-Shall freed in Iran from death row



Antonella Mega, left, has been fighting since 2008 to free her husband, Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, from an Iranian jail. Handout

Antonella Mega, left, has been fighting since 2008 to free her husband, Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, from an Iranian jail. Handout

The wife of Iranian-Canadian Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, who was on death row in Tehran, says her husband has been released.

Antonella Mega's husband had been in an Iranian prison since he was arrested in 2008 and charged with espionage.

He was sentenced to death in 2009 and an Iranian court later rejected an appeal.

Ghassemi-Shall emigrated from Iran after that country's 1979 revolution.

The Toronto shoe salesman had made several trips back to visit family without incident before his arrest in 2008.

Mega said Monday night that she had spoken with her husband following his release but did not know when he would be leaving Iran.

"I spoke to him very briefly and he is just happy that he is released," Mega said.

A Canadian government official issued only brief comments on the news of the man's release.

"We are aware of reports that a Canadian imprisoned in Iran has been released," said Adria Minsky, a spokeswoman for Lynne Yelich, minister of state for consular affairs. "While we are relieved by this development, for privacy reasons, we cannot comment further at this time.

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