“To keep her safe…”

    Oct. 13, 2015

Globe and Mail – Renata D’Aliesio and Eric Andrew-Gee
Ottawa’s lack of transparency leaves refugee sponsors in dark

How does the delay from the PMO audit play out in the lives of genuine refugees?  Here is the story of one Toronto United Church who have been ready for a woman and her three daughters.  The refugees have been three years declared as such by the UNHCR.  Rev. Christopher White, the pastor at Fairlawn United, is puzzled and upset since the mother had been documenting human abuses in Syria for Amnesty International and the UN. “She is on a blacklist. If they deport her to Syria, she will disappear,” Mr. White said Sunday. “We have to do everything we can to keep her safe.”  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ottawas-lack-of-transparency-leaves-refugee-sponsors-in-dark/article26767917/

Vancouver Sun – Ian Mulgrew
Harper ignores a basic principle of justice in rush to condemn   

Mulgrew, a columnist with the Sun is taking umbrage with Stephen Harper’s radio ad around the disposition of an appeal by Crown in Vancouver in which the crown is seeking to eliminate the process of NCR so that indefinite custody becomes the only option for Allan Schoenborn, a man who killed his three children.  Mulgrew thinks the ad is “a blatant attempt to influence the decision of the judge.”   Bill C-14 designates ‘high risk offenders’ but was only passed in 2014 and by most standards would not be applicable to Schoenborn.  http://www.vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/mulgrew+harper+ignores+basic+principle+justice+rush/11432377/story.html

Toronto Star – Wendy Gillis
Const. James Forcillo trial marks a historic moment in Canada – The charge — second-degree murder — is rare enough in police circles but citizen video of Sammy Yatim’s death makes this a trial like no other

Sammy Yatim was an 18 year who was shot dead by Forcillo with eight shots while Yatim was alone on a city bus.   Yatim was clearly mentally ill and drew a small knife in a confrontation with Forcillo after exposing himself.  “In some ways, you could say the officer is not the only person on trial,” said University of Toronto criminologist Scot Wortley. “I think the legitimacy of our current police accountability system, our current civilian oversight system, is also on trial.”   http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2015/10/13/const-james-forcillo-trial-marks-a-historic-moment-in-canada.html

Toronto Star – Stephen Spencer Davis
Academics demand ‘radical expansion’ of help for refugees – Almost 400 academics sign open letter demanding federal government dramatically beef up its response to the Syrian refugee crisis 

The 400 academics want two immediate demands: one that the federal government ensure significant numbers of Syrian refugees arrive in Canada by the end of the 2015; and two that the government radically expand the funding for refugees and their settlement.  Anneke Smit, a University of Windsor associate law professor, cited “excessive control that seems to have been [pushed] on citizenship and immigration officials” and said the letter was also intended partly as “a shaming of the Prime Minister’s office.”  http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/10/13/academics-demand-radical-expansion-of-help-for-refugees.html

Centre for Constitutional Rights (US)
Landmark Agreement Ends Indeterminate Long-Term Solitary Confinement in California

The practice of the use of solitary as a way of dealing with gangs in prison has come to an end in California, thanks to this agreement.  The agreement came Sept 1, 2015, from lawsuits filed by two inmates in the notorious SHU facilities in which inmates were kept in isolation for years.  http://ccrjustice.org/home/press-center/press-releases/landmark-agreement-ends-indeterminate-long-term-solitary    The actual settlement agreement is at this link.  http://ccrjustice.org/sites/default/files/attach/2015/09/2015-09-01-ashker-Settlement_Agreement.pdf    Related article:  Process: An American History Blog  – Julilly Kohler-Hausmann    Welfare and Incarceration in the U.S.    http://www.processhistory.org/?p=1059#more-1059     Related article:  Vox Policy and Politics (US) – Dara Lind   One chart that puts mass incarceration in historical context    http://www.vox.com/2015/10/11/9497161/incarceration-history

Huffington Post – B. Shaw Drake and Megan Corrarino
U.S. Stands Alone: Not Signing U.N. Child Rights Treaty Leaves Migrant Children Vulnerable

When even Somalia ratified the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child on Oct 1, 2015, the United States becomes the lone country to still withhold its acceptance.  Adopted by the United Nations in 1989, the CRC is “the most rapidly and widely ratified human rights treaty in history,” with 196 countries now having ratified.  Critics of the failure of the US to ratify even though a signatory to the treaty behind the CRC point to the custody of immigrant and refugee children as a glaring violation.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/b-shaw-drake/children-migrants-rights_b_8271874.html