Amnesty I File Photo
No Security Without Human Rights
Like many before them, the proponents of the so-called “war on terror” have sought to justify their actions in the name of national security. The result has been the systematic undermining of hard-fought for human rights protections including freedom from discrimination, torture and arbitrary detention. Threats will always be out there from many quarters, be they armed struggles, natural disasters or yet unknown sources. But pursuing genuine security for everyone means placing human rights at the centre of our response. From the headline grabbing cases like Omar Khadr in Guantánamo Bay to the forgotten victims of the "war on terror", this blog covers a wide range of topics on Amnesty International’s work to uphold human rights for all without exception.
Several Recent Items on Omar Khadr from AI Amnesty International: here
Canadian government must respond to Supreme Court of Canada ruling on Omar Khadr case29 January 2010 1:20 pm Posted by: Hilary Homes
Amnesty International is calling on the Canadian government to respond immediately to today’s unanimous Supreme Court of Canada declaration that Omar Khadr’s rights have been violated. As a remedy to those violations, Amnesty International continues to call on the Canadian government immediately to seek Omar Khadr’s repatriation from Guantánamo Bay back to Canada.
The Court issued a declaration that the actions of Canadian intelligence officials, who interrogated Omar Khadr at Guantánamo Bay knowing that he had been subject to “improper treatment by US authorities”, breached his rights under section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Court finds that Canada “actively participated in a process contrary to Canada’s international human rights obligations and contributed to Mr. Khadr’s ongoing detention so as to deprive him of his right to liberty and security of the person guaranteed by s.7 of the Charter, contrary to the principles of fundamental justice.”
The Court concludes that it is up to the government to now “consider what action to take in respect of Mr. Khadr, in conformity with the Charter.” The Court did not order Canada to seek his repatriation to Canada from Guantánamo Bay, ruling that it was not their role to specify what type of action the government must take to remedy the violations. It is nonetheless clear that the Court expects the government to take action that will conform to the Charter and will be responsive to the violations Mr. Khadr has suffered.
“The Supreme Court is unequivocal and unanimous in finding that Canadian officials violated Omar Khadr’s rights under the Charter and Canada’s international human rights obligations, but did not feel it was their role to single out a specific remedy, such as ordering the Canadian government to seek his repatriation,” said Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada (English branch).
From Amnesty's photo file of a 2007 demonstration
Governments must be held to account for secret detentions 27 January 2010 1:19 pm
Posted by: Hilary Homes
Amnesty International today called on all states to take concrete steps to end secret detention, following publication of a detailed United Nations report on its widespread use in the name of countering terrorism.
The UN study highlights the global nature of the problem, naming dozens of countries, covering every region of the world, as undertaking secret detention, or being complicit in it through international networks of detainee transfers and intelligence agencies.
Secret detentions, as the UN report clearly states, constitute a series of human rights violations and ‘cannot be justified under any circumstances.’ The practice is irreconcilable with international human rights law and international humanitarian law.
“Secret detention is not only unlawful in itself, it enables a range of abhorrent abuses including torture and extrajudicial execution,” said Widney Brown, Senior Director of International Law and Policy for Amnesty International.
Read the full AI news release - Go to the URL at top of page