Human rights and compensation…

July 14, 2017

Toronto Star – Azeezah Kanji
The ‘odious’ logic behind opposition to Khadr’s compensation

The apology and the recompense to Omar Khadr has clearly riled many Canadians.  Kanji tries to present the minority side of the issues, including the detailed history of Khadr’s treatment in ‘Gitmo’ and the Canadian Supreme Court rulings around both the US and the Canadian government’s complicity in his torture.   Related article: Globe and Mail – Campbell Clark    In the court of public opinion, Canadians say Trudeau got it wrong on Omar Khadr settlement   Related article:  The Walrus – Omer Aziz   Omar Khadr and the Shame of the Canadian Press

Toronto Star – Brendan Kennedy
Immigration board refuses to release four-year detainee Ebrahim Toure

After four years in immigration detention, Toure, a 46 year old failed refugee, is facing more detention after a ruling for custody by the Immigration Board.  The problem has been encountered before; without citizenship papers – he is from The Gambia – Canada wants to deport him but the Gambia refuses to accept him.  Also typical of refugee cases, the lack of documentation makes the case for custody because the individual may not show up for deportation.

Blogger Russell Webster (UK)
The Parole Board faces up to new challenges…

Webster celebrates the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the national parole board in the UK and guest Martin Jones, Chief Executive of the Parole Board for England and Wales, offers the 2016-2020 Parole Board strategy, a 9 page pfd.  One noted difference in the practice of the Parole Board is a considerable number of face-to-face vs paper hearings.  The board also acknowledges a responsibility to parole those capable of returning to community and thereby reducing the size of the prison population.  The report also addresses strategic aims, behaviours and objectives, and includes a number of measures around the practices and the risks involved.  Full report:

Nunatsiaq-on-line – Stephen Ducharme
 Shots from the bench: Nunavut judge slams “shameful” treatment of prisoner

Justice Paul Bychok was not very pleased with the treatment of self-confessed theft ring leader Michael Cooper-Flaherty at the hands of the correctional services.  Cooper-Flaherty, aged 20, had already spent over 1200 days in jail and attempted suicide twice without any of the requested psychiatric care.  Cooper-Flaherty had been in custody in several different facilities and served 158 days in solitary.  “Shameful treatment,” said Judge Bychok.

Toronto Star – Michelle Shepherd

NDP calls for investigation into ‘shocking’ allegations of racist, anti-gay and anti-Muslim harassment at Canada’s spy agency

The allegations were first announced in a lawsuit by five CSIS employees – intelligence officers and analysts – accusing the agency of an ‘old boys’ mentality and a persistent Islamophobia and homophobia.  Now we have the text of the statement of claim for the lawsuit and a frightening prospect that our lead security services are part of the problem.  Matthew Dube, NDP critic for public Security said in response to the revelations:  “These shocking allegations of consistent harassment, fuelled by racist, homophobic and Islamophobic notions suggest the presence of deep rooted bigotry within CSIS.” ”   Related article: Toronto Star – Michelle Shepherd   Five CSIS employees are accusing the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia in a $35-million lawsuit

Policy Options – Harrison Jordan
Canada is legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, but it’s also introducing 45 new criminal offences. How will police and the courts react?

Here’s another shocker for you.  In the interim of the legalization of marijuana, critics have been advocating for the end of low hanging fruit arrests (currently around 15,000 per year and down from the previous 59,000) and immediate pardons for those currently under conviction or sentence for mere possession.  Jordan thinks that the advent of the new laws around marijuana may well lead to an increase in charges, convictions and prison time.

Toronto Star – Jayme Poisson
Canadian girls are being taken abroad to undergo female genital mutilation, documents reveal

The practice is still common in Africa, the Middle East, India and Pakistan and though the numbers are not available nor accurate, the federal government’s Global Affairs Ministry Vulnerable Children’s Unit thinks  alarming the problem of taking Canadian girls overseas for the practice known as “vacation cutting.”