Canadians Imprisoned Abroad - Harper Leaves Them to Rot 

Yet more Canadians imprisoned abroad in countries with abysmal human rights records.  Cynthia Vanier has been incarcerated in Mexico without charge for the past 3+ months.  She has been beaten and tortured.  According to her family she has lost more than 45 pounds.  The Canadian government has taken the stance that they will ignore Canadians detained abroad.  That Canadians are subject to the laws of the countries which they visit and that the Federal governments has no business stepping in.  To this point they have not intervened, have not pressed for her release, and have only offered counsular assistance.  Ms. Vanier has been transferred to a federal prison awaiting a decision on charges by the Mexican government.

Canadian Woman accused of trying to smuggle Khadafy son into Mexico; she charges abuse, torture during 3 month detention

A Canadian woman jailed in Mexico last year on suspicion she was leading a plot to smuggle the son of slain Libyan dictator Moammar Khadafy into that country will languish in prison for at least ten more days, as Mexican authorities decide whether to formally press charges.
Cynthia Vanier, 52, and three others were detained in Mexico City on Nov. 10 and accused of masterminding a plan to fly Saadi Khadafy and his family into the country on false passports.
Vanier's family has said the allegations are ridiculous.
The Ontario consultant was in Mexico working on water-purification projects when she was arrested, the family says.
They suspect she was targeted because she had traveled to Libya in July on a fact-finding mission for a Montreal-based engineering firm, Canada's CBC News reported.
The firm, SNC-Lavalin, had more than 1,000 employees in Libya and ties to the Khadafy family, CBC News said.
Her detention order was set to expire on Tuesday, but a Mexican judge extended the order and moved her to a federal prison, saying authorities need more time to decide whether to charge her.
In a letter to Canadian authorities obtained by CBC News, Vanier claims she's been tortured and abused during the three-month nightmare, at one point urinating blood after a Mexican cop punched her in the kidneys.
"They ignored me and just put me into the cell... I thought I was going to die in there," she wrote.
Vanier's parents, John and Betty MacDonald, were finally allowed to visit their daughter last Thursday, after months of grappling with the Mexican prison bureaucracy.
The couple told CBC their daughter looked gray-haired and gaunt — having lost some 45 pounds — and was suffering from kidney and blood pressure problems.
"It was pretty overwhelming," Betty MacDonald said of hugging her daughter for the first time. "I wanted to hang on to her forever, wrap her up in a blanket and bring her home."

A Canadian man has been arrested in Bahrain and in this case Canada has taken the position to stand back and observe, but little else.

Canadian man arrested in Bahrain court house

Verdict on petition to overturn prison sentence expected Feb. 16

 A Canadian man who lost his appeal of a five-year prison sentence and had been hiding out in Bahrain was arrested in court on Wednesday, CBC News has learned.

Canadian Naser al-Raas was arrested in a Bahrain court on Wednesday when he showed up hoping a five-year prison sentence would be set aside.Canadian Naser al-Raas was arrested in a Bahrain court on Wednesday when he showed up hoping a five-year prison sentence would be set aside. (Courtesy of family)
Naser al-Raas, 29, was convicted in October for charges of illegal assembly, rioting and incitement in the Arab Spring protests. He was sentenced to five years in prison, where he alleges he has been tortured. He had been in hiding since the conviction.
Katie Edwards of the group Free Naser in Canada said in an email Wednesday the Bahrain court is expected to make a decision on whether to overturn al-Raas's sentence on Feb. 16.
His fiancée Zainab Ahmed told CBC News al-Raas was arrested Wednesday afternoon when he showed up in court in a final bid to get out of the five-year sentence.
She said al-Raas only showed up because his lawyer thought his client would be found innocent. Ahmed said she didn't get the chance to see him before he was taken into custody.
"I'm so upset, so mad, so sad," Ahmed said between sobs in a Skype conversation with the CBC's Ashley Burke. "I'm afraid they will torture him again.
"I'm begging the Canadian government to do anything."

Abysmal Medical Care in Ontario Jails
Hunger Strikers Stand Up, Former Prisoner Speaks Out....

Refugee claimants in Ontario are engaged in a water only hunger strike which began in mid November. Unfortunately the issues facing these men is nothing unusual for correctional facilities of the Canadian state.

They are being held in Niagara detention centre far from family and supporters who live here in Toronto. They have been denied medical care, which for at least one of them is urgent and must be provided immediately.

As some of you may know I have done all of my time in detention centres and regional facilities throughout Southern Ontario. It is far too common for medical needs to be brushed aside by non-medial staff (guards) who should have no say one way or the other about who gets to see a doctor or nurse and who does not!

  • Please see below for details on organizing support for these prisoners.
  • Please read on for details about the process to attain medical care and what prisoners in these type of facilities are subjected to in that process. (if I have left anything out or you have your own story to share please leave a comment!)

The process is something like this:
  1. Ask a guard for a request form
  2. Guard will often ignore you for 1-5 days or more
  3. Finally you receive a request form, fill it out and drop it in a bin to be retrieved and processed by guards later on. (This part of the process can take several days as well)
  4. Approximately 3-6 weeks after your initial request you are finally called to attend the doctor. Depending on the reason for requesting a doctors visit this time frame can be much longer.
    Games they Play:
    If you keep asking the guards at any part during this process in the hopes of speeding things up, they will make you pay.
  • They may do "funny" things like give you the wrong type of request form and not tell you until weeks later when you inquire to find out when you will be attending the doctor. Then the process begins again.
  • They may write you up for approaching them at all
  • You could end up in Seg.
  • You could lose good time.
  • They could come into your cell at night and kick the shit out of you...or worse (it happens - don’t doubt it)
  • You may find yourself in serious medical crisis at some point and then find yourself ignored.
    (I have personally witnessed this happen on many occasions. And once a young pregnant woman was left to bleed to death over night, alone in her cell)
  • Always proceed with caution, try to think about the worst that could happen and try to avoid it
  • There are times to keep your head down and let them run their games if it is the straightest route to getting medical care
  • There are other times to put your foot down and make demands – but always consider your future safety and let family/friends/supports know if you have decided on the “put your foot down” route
Practical Tips
  • You are not supposed to make request directly from medical staff but can get away with it under certain circumstances. The nurse delivers meds to each range twice per day at least. Stand in line for some “aspirin” and ask to be put on the doctors list. She may ask for some form of proof. If there is physical evidence I suggest showing it or refer the nurse to mentions of it already in your med file, etc.
  • You can approach a third party in the community for support. There are two agencies who take collect calls and who have experience advocating for prisoners. They know how best to approach a situation so as to minimise a prisoners risk of retaliatory action.
    PASAN: Toll Free: 1-866-224-9978 Phone: 416-920-9567
    Office of the Ontario Ombudsman: Phone: 1-800-263-1830 – Complaints Line
Either of these services can direct you to other numbers if a more appropriate one exists

Details: How to Support Hunger Strikers

EMAIL: Regional Director &
CALL HIM: at 905-994-6000
CALL: Niagara Detention Centre 905-227-6321.
DEMAND: that the hunger strikers be immediately transferred to Toronto and get access to urgent medical care.

Sergio Puerto, Sandro Philippe, Jesus Galban, and Ibrahim Ali Farrah refugee claimants from Latin America and the Caribbean and Southern Africa have been jailed at the Niagara Detention Centre for between 3 to 6 months. 
Other then 10 minutes a day in a concrete yard - they have been locked up without community support. In mid-November, they began water-only hunger strike demanding that their release be expedited and that they be moved to Toronto where they hope their files will be processed quicker. 
On November 23, Jesus Galban, fell six feet and was denied medical aid until they ended the hunger strike. Officers from Canada Border Services Agency promised immediate action on their file, but did nothing. On December 11, 2011, Sergio Puerto, Sandro Philippe, Jesus Galban and Ibrahim Ali Farrah re-initiated a rolling hunger strike. 


That the inmates be immediately transferred to Toronto where they believe their cases will be quickly expedited and where they all have family and community support.

That Citizenship and Immigration stop delaying justice by keeping all immigration detainees an unreasonably long time in detention for no reason.

Immediate medical assistance for: Jesus - had an accident on November 23rd. Fell off a six foot bunk that had no ladder. Back severely injured and no doctor has attended despite repeated requests. Only medication given so far has been Tylenol Pain Relief. Sandro also having problems with his back- slipped and fell (water on floor) in mid November. Has still received no medical attention.
Canada Border Services Agency has given endless excuses for holding these men. They claim that they are flight risks, even before some of their refugee claims have been processed. Some are facing deportation because of criminal convictions in Canada and the United States even though they have already served their sentences - a clear example of unjust double punishment. Attempts by community members to act as bonds-people and even put up financial sureties have been rejected. Faced with lack of information, and continued lies by Canada Border Services Agency, Sergio, Sandro, Jesus and Ibrahim have decided to initiate a hunger strike. 
It is critical that we support them. Please take a minute to write an email or call Richard Comerford, Regional Director General of CBSA and insist that their demands be met. We will be organizing actions in St. Catharines, Niagara and Toronto. 

Please email if you would like to attend an organizing meeting or if you would like to be informed about upcoming action.
Join our facebook page: Immigration enforcement injustices are forcing migrants, undocumented people in detention across Canada to act. 
We have heard of a hunger strike taking place at the Fraser Regional Correctional Centre (BC): 
Examples are being set by imprisoned undocumented people - it is imperative that we follow and support. For a world without detentions and deportations, for a world where all can move freely, Niagara Migrant Hunger Strikers Support Network 

C10 and Immigration

With all the talk around the omnibus crime bill, not enough has been mentioned about certain parts of this bill. To me this includes the provisions which seek changes to the Parole and Conditional Release act that will among other things convert important prisoner rights (which are rarely afforded as it is) into privileges, and reducing or eliminating in some cases house arrest type sentences.

Other portions of bill C10 which will enter into law within a climate of hostility towards immigrants and refugees to Canada are of course those provisions seeking to both tighten the borders and increase restrictions (translate hardships) once here. See what the Canadian Refugee Council had to say on bill C10.

Comment on immigration amendments in C-10 (omnibus crime bill): trafficking in persons

Bill C-10, the omnibus crime bill introduced September 20, 2011, includes amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. These amendments would give immigration officials the power to deny a work permit to applicants overseas, on the basis that they might be exploited in Canada.

The Canadian Council for Refugees opposes these amendments.

The approach is condescending and moralistic. The amendments empower visa officers to decide which women should be kept out of Canada for their own good. They fail to protect the rights of trafficked persons already here in Canada.

Exploitative jobs should not be on offer

The amendments do not address the root problem with the existence in Canada of jobs that humiliate and degrade workers. Work permits are issued to individuals by visa officers after the employer’s job offer has been validated by Human Resources and Social Development Canada. The backgrounder refers to exotic dancers and low-skilled labourers, and suggests that they might be vulnerable to humiliating and degrading treatment. Why are job offers approved by the government if the work may humiliate and degrade workers?

Excluding women is not protecting them

The bill proposes to address the problem of exploitation by excluding people, mostly women, from Canada. It is demeaning for women to have a visa officer decide that they should be kept out of Canada for their own protection.

Failure to protect the most vulnerable

The bill fails to address the situation of the most vulnerable of exploited non-citizens: those who have no valid work permit. In fact, closing the door on valid work permits may expose women to greater vulnerability, by forcing them underground.

A moralistic approach

The government’s focus on strippers betrays a moralistic approach. Instead of passing moral judgment, the government should work on ensuring that non-citizens' rights are protected and that they have the freedom to make informed choices about their own lives.

Responsibility to protect and assist trafficked persons

Canada is a signatory to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children. One of the purposes of the protocol is to protect and assist the victims of trafficking in persons, “with full respect for their human rights”. In line with this protocol, Canada must take more concrete action than simply refusing a work permit, if there is evidence of trafficking. Action should be taken to refer the woman to the appropriate local institutions or authorities for her protection and to promote the prosecution of the criminals involved.

The law needs to be amended to protect trafficked persons

Instead of amending the law to deny rights to women who may or may not be vulnerable to trafficking, we should change the law to ensure protection for trafficked persons.
Currently, non-citizen women, children and men who are trafficked into or within Canada often fall between the cracks in the system. Detained and deported, they may be treated more as criminals than as victims of a crime.
Legislative amendment is needed to bring a permanent and fundamental change in policy so that trafficked persons in Canada are protected. The Canadian Council for Refugees has developed a specific proposal for legislative amendment to protect trafficked persons.
October 2011

 Harper's Continued War on Canadian Arrestees Abroad

Mr Harper has made it clear that his conservative government doesn't give a damn for Canadians who find themselves in serious trouble abroad.  Historically the government of Canada has made every effort to support and rally behind Canadians imprisoned outside of Canada - particularly those imprisoned in states known to employ torture as a matter of routine.
Here are two more people - Canadians imprisoned outside of Canada.  The first is a farmer imprisoned in Lebanon and accused of importing potatoes which didn't meet weird arbitrary standards...
The next gentleman is of Aboriginal decent.  Caught up in the 60's scoop and taken from his family under false pretenses, he was later imprisoned in the US for robbery and sentenced to something like 8 times what he would have been in Canada - 80+ years!!  This mans entire  life has been subjected to state sanctioned oppression in the name of colonialism - enough is enough.  Please read on to see how you can help!  
sj, Nov. 28, 2011

GRAND FALLS, N.B. — Chanting “Free Henk now” and “Mr. Harper, make the call,” about 100 protesters joined family and friends in a small New Brunswick community Sunday to support ongoing efforts to bring imprisoned potato farmer Henk Tepper home in time for the holidays.
Harmiene Dionne, Tepper’s sister, said the rally was a “great support” for the family.
“I know the community is standing behind us, it’s wonderful to see everyone out here. I know everyone wants to see their friend, their family, their colleague, their community member back in Canada where he belongs,” Dionne said after the march.
Protesters marched through Grand Falls, chanting and waving placards demanding that Tepper be released from the Lebanon prison where he has been detained since March. When the march was completed, the demonstrators gathered around a Christmas tree in the centre of Broadway Boulevard, decorating the fir tree with gold ornaments, tiny burlap potato sacks and yellow ribbons, a longtime symbol of support.
Dionne recently travelled to Lebanon to visit her brother, who was detained by Lebanese officials acting on an Interpol “red alert.” The Algerian government requested the red alert, claiming that the potato producer sold spuds unfit for human consumption to Algeria in 2007. Tepper has never been charged for any crime, but remains in detention in Lebanon.
“He is mentally going downhill. He is really angry. He is frustrated and wants to get out of there,” Dionne said. “Henk said the Canadian consulate (officials) only visited him once in his cell. All the other times it was for a minute or two minutes at the most in an upstairs office.”
Dionne said her brother has been visited several times by Hilary Childs-Adams, Canadian ambassador to Lebanon, including a visit before an Oct. 30 rally held in Grand Falls to support the farmer. Dionne said she also visited Childs-Adams, but there is no indication of when or if her brother will be released.
“Not unless the government is doing something behind closed doors that we are not aware of,” she stated.
Dionne said the Tepper family recently wrote another letter to local Conservative MP Mike Allen, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Diane Ablonczy, stating that Tepper’s lengthy incarceration is unacceptable.
“All I heard back from the government was stating, ‘Thank you for the letter with the concerns about your brother and we would direct the email to the right people.’ ... That’s all the comments that I get, that we will direct this email to the right person. Then we don’t hear anything else.”
Dionne said the circumstances that sparked her brother’s detainment “could have happened to anybody.”
“I might travel and perhaps there is a country that wants me. They do a communication with the government and put our names on red alert and the government doesn’t give us any advance warning. That’s the scary part. We are Canadians but in my opinion we are not really well protected.
On Monday, Edmundston Court of Queen’s Bench is scheduled to review the financial state of Tepper’s family farm and the businesses’ ability to pay more than $11 million in debt. A court-ordered creditor protection on several businesses owned by Tepper ends on Monday.


By La Liberte' (Contact)
To be delivered to: Governor Bobby Jindal
Fundamental human rights are of concern to peoples of all nations. We, the undersigned, call on Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to abide by all international human rights treaties that have been ratified by the United States of America, including and especially the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.
Every member of the United Nations, including the United States, is party to one or more of the nine major human rights treaties which protect virtually every child, woman or man in the world. The United States is also a member nation of other organizations which have created their own treaties or conventions on human rights, such as the Organization of American States and the Council of Europe.

Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, known as Supremacy of National Law, establishes the U.S. Constitution, U.S. treaties, and federal statutes as "the supreme law of the land" and therefore dictates that every individual state must comply with international treaties signed by the United States.

The United States ratified the Council of Europe's Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons in 1983. The Convention allows for foreigners who have been convicted of any crime to be transferred to prisons or facilities in their home countries to serve out the remainder of their sentences in order to promote social reintegration at the conclusion of their prison term.

The success of these human rights treaties in the United States depends on local authorities' familiarity with the treaties and adherence to them.

Unfortunately, Governor Jindal, a case has been pending in Louisiana for over three years that evidences your administration’s failure - be it due to lack of awareness, neglect of duty, or blatant disregard - to adhere to the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.

Canada has been requesting the transfer of Scott Meyers, a prisoner at Angola State Prison, but the requests have been ignored. Mr. Meyers, born Wilfrid Allan Sutherland in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was stolen from his mother’s arms at the age of four during the Canadian “60s Scoop” effort to eradicate his native Aboriginal Cree Nation tribe. He was “adopted out” to a New Orleans family, and was raised there, never forgetting the day he was ripped away. There is no doubt about the psychological impact that this horror had on Mr. Meyers and how this experience contributed to the events that led to his incarceration. His family in Canada has been located, and both the family and Mr. Meyers would like him to be transferred to a prison near them to serve out his time, so that he may finally have a chance to meet and get to know the family he lost so long ago.

Former Governor Foster abided by the Convention on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons back in 2001 when he signed off on the transfer of Ms. Terese Terre to France. Governor Foster no doubt acted under LA Code of Criminal Procedure, Title XXX, Chapter 1, Article 892.3, which authorizes the Governor of Louisiana to act on behalf of the State and to consent to the transfer of such convicted offenders under the provisions of Article IV., Section 5(A) of the Constitution of Louisiana.

We, the signers of this petition, implore you to abide by all international human rights laws which Louisiana is a party to, and take IMMEDIATE notice of this case by acting quickly and humanely and making sure that this man is returned home as dictated by those laws.

Harper's Racist, Classist, Sexist War on  
The Harper conservatives have launched an all out war on immigrants to this country. The immigrant work programs managed by the government under the Tories such as SAWP (Skilled Agricultural Workers Program) and the live in caregiver program clearly illustrate scorn for working class “would be” immigrants. Many of Canada's immigrant work programs have long been critized for their racist, sexist , and classist conventions. Program rules are so strict that it is nearly impossible to ever fully comply with regulations allowing workers to “earn” their way to permanent resident or citizen status. These programs are known to operate in such a way as to make it difficult if not impossible for people to know their rights let alone make claim to them.
The conservatives are now taking further steps to close the doors to a more privileged way of life in Canada for many of the worlds peoples. This includes labeling those who seek sanctuary in Canada “human smugglers” and a danger to Canadians. “the prime minister says the federal government has appointed a special adviser on human smuggling and illegal migration and strengthened co-operation with international partners to combat human smuggling”
And it includes Bill C49, an act which claims to protect the safety of Canadians by toughening an already strict immigration system which tends to exclude those who are brown or black, who are poor, and who are women. Bill C-49 will among other things ban applications for permanent residence for five years after gaining refugee status, bar people from reuniting with their families for five years after gaining refugee status, and stop people from leaving Canada for five years after gaining refugee status.

For more information or to get involved in action please see:

Info by sheryl jarvis Nov 2011

Action Alert: Proposed Immigration Act Jails Refugees,      Separates Families, Keeps People Sick

Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney have proposed a new Immigration Act, Bill C-49. It would allow the Minister of Public Safety to declare any group of migrants coming in to Canada, a 'smuggling incident'. There is no definition of a 'smuggler' in this Act.
For the asylum seekers who are declared part of an incident (which could be anyone making a refugee claim in a groups of 2 or more), the Conservative government wants to:
  • Jail them for a minimum of one year
  • Deny access to health services
  • Deny monthly detention reviews, allowing migrants in jail a chance to gain freedom only once every 6 months
With Canadian and other western economies responsible for displacement of millions of people through war, economic turmoil and environmental havoc, there has been an intense spike in people migrating in search for physical and economic security. As movements struggle to stop war, cease capitalist exploitation and halt environmental degradation, it is imperative that we resist the militarization and closing of borders that will limit the ability of communities in turmoil to seek safety.

Lawyers Attempt to Bar Former US President George Bush from Canada 

It has become widely known that George W. Bush and his associates committed serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in allowing the torture of detainee's in Iraq and Afghanistan through such practices as water boarding, restraining prisoners in painful pressure positions for hours, and subjecting prisoners to the most inhumane forms of isolation possible.  The Bush regime then attempted to "legalize" what they were doing by having the "Prisoners of War" declared "Combatants".  Therefore not covered by the Geneva convention against torture, nor any other international or national laws which outlaw torture.
The international group Lawyers Against the War for these reasons have submitted a request to the Canadian government to have Bush barred from Canada.      sheryl jarvis, Oct. 14, 2011

Canada 1 604 738 0338
George W. Bush: request for law enforcement 1

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Superintendent Philipe Thibodaux
Crimes against Humanity & War Crimes Section
A Division & Citizenship and Immigration
155 McArthur Rd.
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R2

Tel: 613 994 6912
Fax: 613 949 4768

Dear Superintendent Thibodaux;
Re: George W. Bush Visit to Surrey BC Canada on October 20, 2011.
George W. Bush is scheduled to visit Surrey BC Canada on or before October 20, 2011 as a guest of the Surrey Board of Trade and Mayor Diane Watts.
Request that George W. Bush be barred from Canada
We are writing to report that:

  • George W. Bush, former president of the United States and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, is inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), section 35(1)(a) because of overwhelming evidence that he has committed, outside Canada, torture and other offences referred to in sections 4 to 7 of the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (CAHWC); and,
  • George W. Bush is also inadmissible on security grounds for, “engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of [Iraq and Afghanistan] any government.” pursuant to s. 34(1) (b) of the IRPA; and,
  • George W. Bush is inadmissible as a senior official of a government that engaged in, “systematic or gross human rights violations, or a war crime or a crime against humanity within the meaning of subsections 6(3) to (5) of the CAHWC.
    If there are reasonable grounds to believe a person has been complicit in any of these crimes, entry to Canada must be denied. Reasonable grounds, according to the Supreme Court of Canada are “something more than suspicion but less than…proof on the balance of probabilities.”
Request for Investigation of torture allegations

We request that the RCMP War Crimes Section (RCMP/WCS) immediately take the following steps:

  • begin an investigation of George W. Bush for aiding, abetting and counseling torture between November 13, 2001 and November 2008 at Guantánamo Bay prison in Cuba, Abu Grab prison in Iraq, Bigram prison in Afghanistan and other places; and,
  • Advise the Prime Minister, Attorney General of Canada and Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety that the George W. Bush administration, “…engaged in torture and other war crimes and crimes against humanity,” and therefore G.W. Bush is also inadmissible under section 35(1) (b) of the IRPA.
Under sections 4 to 7 of the CAHWCA, "crimes against humanity" include murder, enforced disappearance, deportation, imprisonment, torture and imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law, committed against any civilian population or any identifiable group. War crimes include willful killing, torture and inhuman treatment, unlawful confinement and willfully depriving a prisoner of war or other protected person of fair trial rights.
Overwhelming evidence of the involvement of George W. Bush and other members of the Bush administration in torture and other CAHWCA crimes is widely available. The allegations coupled with the supporting evidence have triggered the legal duty—if Mr. Bush enters Canada—to:
1. ensure that George W. Bush does not receive safe haven from prosecution for torture and other CAHWCA crimes in Canada; and,
2. ensure a thorough and transparent investigation of the allegations of torture and other CAHWCA crimes against George W. Bush; and,
3. ensure that George W. Bush is prosecuted for torture either in Canada, or extradited to a country willing and able to prosecute; and,
4. secure the presence of George W. Bush in Canada for the investigation and prosecution or extradition for prosecution as required by law.
Many have concluded that the responsibility of George W. Bush and the Bush Administration for torture and other criminal atrocities has already been conclusively established. Canada‟s duty to condemn, investigate, prosecute and punish torture and to take effective action to combat impunity for the atrocities committed by the Bush administration, is unavoidable.
Then U.N. General Assembly President Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, on March 4, 2009 concluded,
"The illegality of the use of force against Iraq cannot be doubted as it runs contrary to the prohibition of the use of force in article 2(4) of the U.N. Charter. All pretended justifications notwithstanding, the [Bush Administration] aggressions against Iraq and Afghanistan and their occupations constitute atrocities that must be condemned and repudiated by all who believe in the rule of law in international relations.
“Reliable and independent experts estimate that over one million Iraqis have lost their lives as a direct result of the illegal invasion of their country. The various UN human rights monitors have prepared report after report documenting the unending litany of violations from crimes of war, rights of children and women, social rights, collective punishment and treatment of prisoners of war and illegal detention of civilians. These must be addressed to bring an end to the scandalous present impunity.”1 (Emphasis added) 
U. N. Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Martin Scheinin, in February 2009 concluded, “…the United States has created a comprehensive system of extraordinary renditions, prolonged and secret detention, and practices that violate the prohibition against torture and other forms of ill- 1

George W. Bush: request for law enforcement treatment….States must not aid or assist in the commission of acts of torture, or recognize such practices as lawful, …Under international human rights law, States are under a positive obligation to conduct independent investigations into alleged violations of the right to life, freedom from torture or other inhuman treatment, enforced disappearances or arbitrary detention, to bring to justice those responsible for such acts, and to provide reparations where they have participated in such violations.”2 (Emphasis added)
Canada‟s international legal duties specifically prohibit treating the torture and CAHWCA crimes of which Bush stands accused, as legal: ignoring the IRPA and allowing Bush into, and then out of Canada, would be tantamount to treating torture as legal.
The RCMP have a common law and a statutory duty to investigate and prevent torture and other CAHWCA crimes.3 In addition, the RCMP must carry out the mandate of the War Crimes Program to, “…ensure that the Government of Canada has properly addressed all allegations of war crimes…”
To do this, the RCMP must, “…with the support of DOJ [Department of Justice], investigating allegations involving reprehensible acts that could lead to a possible criminal prosecution.”4 The War Crimes Program was established specifically to meet the challenge of investigating crimes committed outside Canadian territory by foreign nationals. We are aware that because of the nature of CAHWC crimes, suspected perpetrators will often be high ranking civilian and military officials and will include former heads of state. It goes without saying that the RCMP are duty bound to apply the law equally to such suspects.
Lawyers Against the War is ready to provide references to evidence of torture. We are confident that other organizations such as the Canadian Centre for International Justice, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International/Canada, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and other individuals and organizations are also ready to assist by providing evidence and analyses of the applicable law.

Request for Information

LAW seeks information to clarify questions about the procedures followed by Canadian officials to determine the admissibility to Canada of George W. Bush and other suspected war criminals or security risks. We reiterate our earlier request that the RCMP/WCS provide the following information:
1. What actions have been taken by the RCMP/WCS and other officials in response to reports by LAW5 and others6 that George W. Bush is inadmissible to Canada because of overwhelming evidence of his involvement in torture and other CAHWCA crimes?
2 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, Martin Scheinin, A/HRC/10/3, 4 February 2009.
3 RCMP Act, R.S. 1985, c. R-10, s. 18 and Royal Canadian Mounted Police Regulations, 1988, SOR/88-361, s. 17. See also “[common law] recognizes the existence of a broad conventional or customary duty in the established constabulary as an arm of the State to protect the life, limb and property of the subject.” Shacht v. R. [1973] 1 O.R. 221 at pp. 231-32.
4 Overview of Operations, mandates and Structure, Canada‟s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program:
5 Lawyers against the War has provided letters to the War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Program since 2004 and most recently on August 25, 2011. LAW‟s August 25, 2011 letter can be accessed at

We thank you in advance for a prompt reply to the important requests made and questions posed in this letter.


Gail Davidson, Lawyers Against the War

Copied to:

Prime Minster Stephen Harper;
Attorney General Rob Nicholson
Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney
Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews

Nycole Turmel, interim Leader of the New Democratic Party,
Joe Comartin MP, NDP Justice Critic,
Don Davies MP, NDP Citizenship, Immigration critic,
Paul Dewar MP, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic,
Jasbir Sandhu MP, NDP Public Safety Critic,

Mr. Rob Rae, MP, Interim Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada,
Mr. Irwin Cotler MP, Liberal Justice Critic,
Mr. Francis Scarpaleggia MP, Liberal Public Safety Critic,
Mr. Kevin Lamoureux MP, Liberal Immigration Critic,
Mr. Dominic LeBlanc MP, Liberal Foreign Affairs Critic,

Ms. Elizabeth May MP, Leader of the Green Party of Canada,

Jean Francois Fortin MP, Bloq Quebecois Foreign Affairs Critic,
André Bellavance MP, Bloq Quebecois Citizenship and Immigration Critic,
Maria Mourani MP, Bloq Quebecois Justice and Public Safety Critic,

Mr. Juan Méndez, UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,

Mr. Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada,

Mayor Diane Watts of Surrey BC Fax: 604-591-5175

RCMP Commissioner William J.S. Elliott,

1 Address by H.E. Miguel D‟Escoto Brockmann, President of The United Nations General Assembly, to the Human Rights Council, at paras. 25 & 26, Geneva 4 March 2009.
2 What advice have the RCMP/WCS given to the offices of the Prime Minister, Attorney General of Canada, Minister of Immigration and/or the Minister of Public Safety regarding the inadmissibility of George W. Bush and the proper interpretation of the IRPA?
3. What policies and procedures are followed by all officials to investigate complaints and determine inadmissibility under the IRPA sections 34 and 35, including the RCMP, the Canadian Borders Services Agency (CBSA) and the Ministers of Immigration and Public Safety?
4. What is the role of the RCMP/WCS in the investigation and/or determination of admissibility to Canada under the IRPA, ss. 34 and 35?
N.B. Your predecessor, Inspector Ron Charlebois, advised LAW in March 2009 that the RCMP/WC policy was to restrict investigations to allegations of torture and CAHWC crimes against “persons…present (living) in Canada on an ongoing basis.” LAW (in letters of March 24 and 11, 2009) requested a copy of that policy and disclosure of when and by whom the policy was created and what officials carry out and supervise the policy. We have yet to receive a reply.

5. What investigations have been or are being conducted of Mr. Bush‟ inadmissibility under the IRPA s. 34(1) (b)? As you know, Mr. Bush is prima facie inadmissible under this section as the person who authorized and directed the overthrow by force of the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq.
6 The letter and brief submitted jointly by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Canadian Centre for International Justice are available at (letter)  , and at (brief) . The brief of Amnesty International is available at

Birth doesn't guarantee citizenship

Ottawa-born thief faces deportation to India

By Gary Dimmock, Ottawa Citizen June 30, 2011

The Harper government has issued a deportation order for the Canadian-born son of former domestic servants to the High Commission of India.
Deepan Budlakoti, born at the old Grace Hospital in 1989, always believed he was Canadian and so did his parents. So much so that when his parents won citizenship in 1997, they never bothered to make an application for him.
In fact, his father, who is now a hospital janitor, wrote on his application back then that his son was already a Canadian because he was born here, according to government files obtained by the Citizen.
It was that mistaken belief that now has Budlakoti facing deportation, according to a ministerial order dated June 15.
His family wasn't the only one making mistakes. In 2003, the federal government issued him a Canadian passport.
The Harper government started looking into the 21-year-old's status after he served a stint at the old Innes Road jail.
Immigration officials ordered an admissibility hearing for the Ottawa-born petty thief last summer, then withdrew the deportation hearing because they didn't know if he was Canadian.
Now, after a review of the case, Budlakoti is facing deportation because children born in Canada to parents with diplomatic status are not considered citizens simply by birth.
Warren Creates, a leading specialist on citizenship and immigration law, said in an interview that he has never heard of such a case.
"This is an exceptional case for many reasons. But the law that applies to this matter is very clear. A child born of parents on diplomatic status cannot claim and is not entitled to Canadian citizenship by virtue of their birth in Canada. This is the only exception to the rule which applies in all other cases, which is birth in Canada yields automatic citizenship," the lawyer said.
"That Canadian government authorities actually at one time gave Mr. Budlakoti a Canadian passport, of course usually only available to Canadian citizens, was a mistake that cannot now be relied upon. There is no principal in law that says that a benefit or remedy granted on the basis of a mistake entitles the beneficiary to a continuation of the same privilege," Creates said.
"So Mr. Budlakoti has no lawful status in Canada now at all, not even permanent resident status, despite the appearance of some sympathies such as long-term establishment."
The lawyer noted that the Department of Citizenship and Immigration has long shown itself, at times, to be flexible and sympathetic for cases that fall through the cracks.
But in this case, Budlakoti's long criminal record does little to win him sympathy from the Harper government.
"There is another principal in law that says that a person who seeks a discretionary remedy, he who seeks equity must have clean hands," Creates said.
So now, Budlakoti, who is serving federal time at Pittsburgh Institution in Kingston for selling a gun to an undercover Ottawa police officer, finds himself faced with being shipped to India, his parents' homeland.
"I was born in Canada, I don't know anyone in India and like I said before, I don't even speak the language," Budlakoti told the Citizen.
Budlakoti is far from a model citizen. He got into plenty of trouble growing up on the city's west side and was once accused of breaking into more than 300 homes. He ran away from home at 12 because he didn't want to follow house rules, and he stole whatever he could lug out of others' homes along the way.
He bounced around group homes for troubled boys, spent time in youth jail, but mostly lived on the streets, sleeping, he says, in parks in the summer and on friends' couches in the winter.
During his daytime break-ins, Budlakoti would sometimes make himself lunch and use the shower before leaving through the back door. He never even cleared his plate.
He straightened out for a bit and got his high school diploma and started doing small construction jobs around town. But then he found himself back in trouble with the law and is serving time on the gun-trafficking conviction.
The federal government documents on his immigration case do not mention that conviction. Rather, they note his break-and-enter record as the reason he should be deported.
A criminal record is one reason non-citizens can be deported from Canada.
"I wish there was someone out there that could help me before I end up in India," Budlakoti pleaded.
Gary Dimmock can be reached at