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Canada has become an international pariah in Afghanistan: open letter to Harper PDF Print E-mail
Peace News
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:19

2006 May 31

Canada has become an international pariah in Afghanistan: open letter to Harper

PEJ News - Joan Russow - The Globe and Mail reports that Canada is instructed to defy international law, ?regulations regarding the rights of prisoners of war don't apply to Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters captured on the battlefield.?



Canada has become an international pariah in Afghanistan: open letter to Harper

Captured fighters don't deserve these rights because this isn't a war between countries, says Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, who commands the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command and thus oversees all Canadian Forces deployed abroad.

"They are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status but they are entitled to prisoner-of-war treatment," he said, asserting that all detainees are humanely treated.

"The regulations apply in an armed conflict between states, and what's happening in Afghanistan is not an armed conflict between states. And therefore there is no basis for making a determination of individuals being prisoners of war," he said.

That decision strips detainees of key rights and protections under the rules of war, including the right to be released at the end of the conflict and not to be held criminally liable for lawful combat.? (Globe and Mail, May 31 2006)


The following is an open letter to Prime Minister Harper

Open letter read at the rally in front of the Empress Hotel, Victoria while Prime Minister. Harper was enjoying his $95 dollar a plate luncheon with the members of the Chamber of Commerce. Letter to be subsequently sent to the Prime Minister.

Open letter to Rt Hon. Steven Harper
May 26, 2006

Dear Prime Minister:

There is such a thing as a free lunch for proponents of corporate warfare. Few Canadians want Canada to be a war monger, joining in ill-conceived US-led invasions, pre-emptive operations and never-ending occupations.

Most Canadians do not want deep integration with a country that demonizes nations by placing them on the axis of evil; a country that misrepresents and lies to its public and even to its troops about reasons for going to war, and spurns disarmament.

Canadians do not want to be complicit in the us violation of the Convention against Torture, the Geneva Convention related to the Protection of Civilians, the Geneva Protocol on Prohibited Weapons such as depleted uranium, and the Ottawa Convention on Land Mines, as well as numerous environmental instruments.

Canadians do not want the federal government and its agents engaging in racial profiling and detaining "persons of interest", in aiding and abetting the rendering of prisoners, or in targeting citizens engaged in legitimate dissent.

Most Canadians do not want Canada to contribute to global militarism, and the global trillion dollar military budget;
or to be a country that spends 10 % of federal program funding on the military; or to be a country that generously fills the coffers of the defence industry- the over 400 members of the Canadian Defence and Security Industry Association.

Most Canadians can no longer support a misconstrued notion of security; so-called military security and the creation of "fortress Canada"; They want true security.

True security is common security and involves the following objectives:

(i) to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including labour rights, civil and political rights, social and cultural rights- right to food, right to housing, right to education, right to universally accessible not for profit health care,
and to recognize poverty as the major determinant of health problems, and to provide for a guaranteed annual income;
true security is also.

(ii) to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose reduce the ecological footprint and move away from the current model of over-consumption.

(iii) to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, and to institute the fair and just transition principle

(iv) to achieve a state of peace, social justice and disarmament; through reallocation of military expenses to social justice.

(v) to create a global structure that respects the rule of law.

As the Venezuelan ambassador recently stated during his visit to Victoria, "Terrorism is not defeated by terrorism
fascism is not defeated by fascism and violence is not defeated by violence."

And one could add security is not attained through corporate warfare.

Lest you forget, Mr. Prime Minister, most Canadians did not vote for you.

Joan Russow
On behalf of the Victoria Peace Coalition
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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 08:42

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