Friday, August 14, 2009

Sanity Prevails

The court has rejected the Harper government's appeal to have an earlier ruling overturned.

The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a judge’s ruling that ordered the federal government to press for the return of Omar Khadr from a U.S. military detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Once again, this government is being told in no uncertain terms, that it does not have the right to flout human rights conventions and it seems to me that they also have no authority to pick and choose which Canadians they will afford rights to.

From the original decision:

In his 43-page decision, O'Reilly wrote that the federal government's ongoing refusal to request his repatriation to Canada "offends a principle of fundamental justice and violates Mr. Khadr's rights.
"To mitigate the effect of that violation, Canada must present a request to the United States for Mr. Khadr's repatriation as soon as practicable," the judge wrote.


I really don't know what it will take, how many peoples lives must be ruined, before this government is ousted, but these cases must stay in the news.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, NDP Leader Jack Layton and Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe have sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and U.S. President Barack Obama calling for Khadr's repatriation and for any evidence against him to be released to Canadian authorities.

The U.S. and Canadian governments are signatories to a United Nations protocol that states fighters under age 18 are to be considered child soldiers and must be released and helped to reintegrate into society.

Once again, sanity that only seems to exist outside of this current government and many of it's supporters, prevails.

Decision is here.

16 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

Don't get ahead of yourself; Harper may still appeal this to the Supreme Court. He's gone to a lot of trouble to try and deny Khadr coming home; so I doubt a high profile case like this will allow him to do anything but appeal.

That way if he loses the final appeal, he can tell his red meat rabid supporters that he tried his est, but those "wimpy bleeding heart liberal courts" foiled him.

kirbycairo said...

I have no doubt that Harper will appeal this decision but that will just further reinforce the fact that Harper is opposed to human rights in pretty much any form. The real question is; when will more Canadians wake up to this fascist in salesman's clothing?

ridenrain said...

If Omar threw the grenade a couple years later he could have possibly killed Canadian troops and not just our allies.
I wonder if anyone would be singing a different tune.

Joseph said...

Well, ridenrain, if that were the situation and the charges were proven in trial, it would probably change the situation.

But, that's the problem with this case. It's never gone to trial. There is no guilty verdict.

So you're dealing with a whole situation. He was underage, it was during a battle, what few facts are out there show that the facts of whether he even threw a grenade are in dispute.

So, try as you might to make this about something else. It's not. He wasn't an adult, he is a Canadian citizen, he was a child taken into a war zone by his father, there was a battle underway at the camp, he didn't possess a gun, it's under dispute whether he even threw the grenade, and he's never received a legitimate trial or been able to face his accusations directly.

Add it all up, and it's a situation that could have been handled completely different from day one. After what is it now? 7 years. It simply isn't the imaginary clear-cut scenario you would like it to be. If that's your only argument, it's a poor one.

ridenrain said...

I guess then Martin should have gone to save him like Chretien saved his daddy from that Pakistan trial back in 96.

Anonymous said...

He was just doing what his dad told him to do.

Joseph said...

It isn't 1996 - it's 2009. This isn't about his father - it is about him. And Chetrien isn't Prime Minister - Harper is.

What is the Canadian government doing today? ridenrain, I'm really not asking you to disavow the Harper government as a whole or your support for their basic positions or general philosophy or anything else. But can't we get to the point - seriously - where we look at individual cases as just that. And deal accordingly?

I don't want any government - Conservative or Liberal - to be unable to separate individual cases from their overall beliefs. It's unhealthy - just look south, as I like to say.

Harper truly doesn't have to give up his world view by dealing with this situation. Yet he won't. So we just sit stuck, spitting at each other. How does that make Canada stronger?

When I say Harper is petty, I really don't say it as just some kind of random gripe. He proves it again and again and again, on file after file.

Canada doesn't need pettiness in the Prime Minister's office. That isn't leadership. The smallness reflects poorly on Canada.

KNB said...

No worries Scott, I'm not naive enough to suggest that Harper won't appeal.

I'm just thrilled that he is once again shown to be at odds with human right norms.

KNB said...

kirbycairo, at least these stories are getting more coverage now, though it needs to be highlighted in Septemeber as well when HoC comes back.

KNB said...

ridenrain, arguing with hypotheticals is ridiculous.

Why is it the right can't argue the facts? Shiny objects and presumptions without proof seems to be the only retort.

KNB said...

Joseph How does that make Canada stronger?

It doesn't of course. This country has been greatly dimished in stature since Harper took power.

Human rights, womens rights, Africa aid, isotope production..to name but a few files.

wilson said...

Listening to the 'experts' today,
what the court said boils down to:

in 2003 (Liberal government) info obtained from Khadr was shared with US officials,
had the info NOT been shared, the Charter of Rights would not extend to Khadr now.

Court split decision, 2:1.
The SCoC should make a ruling on this, it needs to be answered by our highest court.

Also listened to Rae on Khadr decision today....never once said the word 'torture'....even tho claims of torture are very relevent in the Khadr case.
Sleep deprevation is one of those acceptable tortures in MIs writings, right?

Joseph said...

Actually, that is NOT what the court said.

The court said meeting with him and then sharing the information obtained with the US officials breached his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

They did NOT say that not having done so would have meant the rights didn't exist. The rights applied whether or not they were violated. The court simply ruled that his existing rights were violated.

What you said is a complete twisted distortion, but I know that's par for the course. Nice of you to toss off the obfuscation to unnamed experts.

As for the torture toss-away. Nice partisan jab, but it really doesn't have anything to do with the basic premise of the ruling.

The fact that the previous Liberal governments didn't hold up the charter ought to make it easier for Harper to do so now. Instead it just becomes another political football, which is sad. And, again, demonstrates a failure of leadership.

KNB said...

Geez wilson, I know you can read. I did attach the ruling didn't I?

Joseph shoots down your nonsense accurately.

Tell me, what is it about this case that makes you resist these decisions?

Don't like his family? Don't like his religion? Don't like his colour?

That is how we determine citizenship now?

Bottom line in the ruling is that no one, not even the government, is above the law.

Tomm said...

Given our Charter and given that our Judges have the elbow room to indicate (according to Joseph, who I do not doubt) that:

"...The court said meeting with him and then sharing the information obtained with the US officials breached his rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

.... The court simply ruled that his existing rights were violated."

tells me that his case in the US is not the issue, it is the linkage between the active Canadian assistance and Kadr's treatment from 5-6 years ago that defies his charter rights.

The Court is using all of the stretch in the Charter's fabric to come up with this decision.

I think we should be assessing how much more stretchiness our Charter has, because I am becoming concerned that Canadian courts have no time for anything but going above and beyond to assure the rights of the pertpetrators of vile deeds.

Anonymous said...

Yettaw, American Prisoner In Myanmar, Freed With Help From Jim Webb »

AP | August 14, 2009 at 12:30 PM

YANGON, Myanmar — Days after the world slammed Myanmar for sentencing Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi to more house arrest, U.S. Senator Jim Webb arrived in the military-ruled country's capital Friday.

The visit – the first in more than a decade by a senior U.S. official – has drawn criticism from activists who say it confers legitimacy on a brutal regime, but the Obama administration gave the Virginia Democrat its blessing.


Jim Webb, as we know is a Dem. Senator.

Now, this is how it's done folks.