Saturday, June 09, 2007

Free Kadhar

The 'liberal humanist' government of Stephen Harper denounces China for holding a Canadian citizen incommunicado, without access by Canadian Embassy staff, for the use of torture, forced confession, illegal arrest and show trial. His crime is to be a Muslim who is accused of terrorism.

Yet when the US of A does it well that's okay.

US can deal with terror suspects without flouting its own laws

The facade of due process and respect for international law that United States President George W. Bush has tried to attach to the treatment of prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay slipped again this week.

The decision by a military judge to dismiss all charges against Omar Khadr will be a slight embarrassment for the Bush administration, since it was based on what appears to be a flaw in the law written specifically to prosecute prisoners held on the American base in Cuba. But it will make little difference to Khadr, at least in the short term. The 20-year-old Canadian has been held for the past five years in Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan where, at the age of 15, he allegedly killed an American soldier and wounded another with a grenade.

Before Khadr's trial began this week, a Bush administration spokesman made it clear that even if he were to be acquitted by the military tribunal, he would most likely continue to be held as enemy combatant for as long as the war on terror goes on.

In this case, although he was captured in combat in a country that had been invaded by the United States and its allies, Khadr was not considered to be a prisoner of war. Nor was he arrested for murder under either the laws of Afghanistan, where the death occurred, or the U.S.

Instead the administration made up its own rules, which allow prisoners to held indefinitely without charge, to be tortured -- humanely, of course --to be shipped around the world and to be denied basic legal protections given to the worst criminals in the U.S.

The Canadian Government,regardless of it's political ideology, is expected to defend it's citizens or the party in power has no right to govern if it fails it's citizens.

In this case the whole of Parliament, all the parties that make up the State, have failed to do their duty to defend an underage Canadian citizen who has been illegally confined by the Americans. No questions were raised in the House of Commons this week by any opposition party. And while their silence was deafening that of the Government roared disinterest.

While it is easy to see why Canadian politicians and officials don't want to touch the Khadr case with a barge pole, their silence has been seen by some as an unconscionable endorsement of an increasingly suspect U.S. policy.

This is particularly the case considering the very public complaints that have come from Canadian officials -- including the prime minister -- about China's treatment of terrorist suspect Huseyin Celil, a Canadian-Chinese citizen arrested while he was travelling in Asia on a Canadian passport.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper was right to take China to task over the Celil case. But he should have been just as forceful with the American government on Khadr.

Harper ignores citizen's right to due process

Canada still mute as Guantanamo circus continues

It is true that Khadr is no model citizen, coming from a family whose father raised his children to be warriors for jihad.

It is also true that everyone, no matter their guilt or innocence, deserves a fair hearing in a legitimate court of due process.

When that fails to occur for a Canadian citizen in a foreign land, it is imperative that the Canadian government stand up for that citizen's right to a proper trial.

Stephen Harper understands this, repeatedly criticizing China for its shady handling of Canadian citizen Huseyin Celil, recently sentenced in secret to life in prison on questionable terrorism-related charges.

Harper carries a much different line on Khadr. Not wanting to offend his war-on-terror pal George W. Bush, Harper and his government -- much like the previous Liberal regime -- remains silent on the Khadr matter.

The opposition parties aren't much better, apparently fearing that support for Khadr's right to a fair trial may be portrayed as being "soft of terrorism."

Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP MP Joe Comartin briefly broke the silence this week by demanding the Harper regime get more involved in Khadr's file.

Here is a Law and Order government that refuses to defend it's own citizens and one who is 'underage', a mere child when he was kidnapped by the U.S. Government.

There we have it the Americans have imprisoned a Canadian
underage child, kidnapping him, denying him the right to a fair trial,the very basis of common law broken, violated. Now one would think that those who profess to uphold moral virtues as politics would publicly abhor these actions.

Especially our Conservative Government which has made an issue out of both increasing the age of consent from 14 to 16 and to decreasing the age for which felonious crimes can be charged. They are so concerned with the rights of children unless of course it is Omar Kadhar.

Instead they acquiesce to the American State, and it's right post 9/11, to become a fascist state.

Report: 39 Secretly Imprisoned by US

An alliance of human rights groups has determined the U.S. is secretly detaining 39 terror suspects. Names of the so-called "ghost detainees" were published in a report released Thursday.

Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and four other groups, agreed on the list which was compiled from interviews with former prisoners and officials in the U.S., Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

"What we're asking is where are these 39 people now, and what's happened to them since they 'disappeared'?" Joanne Mariner of Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

Factbox: secret CIA prisons in Europe

Bush to arrive in Rome during 'CIA rendition' trial


State Sponsored Terrorism

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