Hey Amnesty, Lay Off Canada!
By Rachel Marsden
Amnesty International is telling us this week that when it comes to respecting terrorists' rights, Canada just isn't cutting it.
In its report to the United Nations, the same organization that recently focused worldwide media attention on the horrors of naked Twister and pop music at the Guantanamo Bay terrorist detention centre complains that when it comes to refugees, "the Supreme Court of Canada ... has affirmed that normally no one should be deported to face a substantial risk of torture, but has left open the possibility that such deportations might be justified in exceptional circumstances. The Court did not go on to enumerate or describe what would constitute such exceptional circumstances."
Well, here are a few obvious ones: Using Al-Jazeera TV as your own personal "Speaker's Corner," being in the same phone book as Osama bin Laden, or attending one of those al-Qaida training schools for monkey-bar excellence featured in all of the terrorist training documentaries.
Amnesty also objects to Canada's use of security certificates to detain non-citizens deemed to pose a threat to national security. I agree that these people shouldn't be detained at taxpayer expense. They should be put on the next flight home.
But according to Amnesty, "the UN Committee against Torture ... has repeatedly reminded Canada that the international legal protection against torture, including removal to face torture, is absolute."
Actually, the UN Convention Against Torture is so "absolute" that it allows for governments to list their "reservations" and opt out of certain clauses. These lists can sometimes read like high school bathroom graffiti -- Syria's tend to diss Israel, while others take jabs at the U.S., the country that keeps this whole carnival act financially afloat.
So far this year, the UN Torture committee has heard reports from countries such as Canada, Finland and Switzerland, while Togo was conveniently a no-show. And the UN can't even compel anyone to appear -- which is good for dictators, because they have better things to do, like torture people.
How about cleaning up those other countries, rather than going for the low-hanging fruit? Maybe then you won't cry when we send terrorists back to where they came from.
The Amnesty report reminds Canada that exposing terrorists to possible torture through deportation is a violation of "international law." Yeah, that's a real scary proposition, as Saddam Hussein proved by ignoring 17 UN resolutions over 12 years, all while circumventing sanctions by gaming an "Oil for Food" program run by the UN itself.
As with the recent batch of U.S. military deserters, terrorists aren't "refugees." So why are we even entertaining these clowns? Is it because Canada risks alienating Naomi Klein, Avi Lewis, Alexandre Trudeau, and other future nominees in the CBC's "Greatest Canadian" contest, who have offered support to the likes of Hassan Almrei (a Syrian national who admits having trained in Afghanistan and is alleged to have terrorist links) while he demands better jail conditions?
If Osama is your homeboy and you're thinking of moving to Canada, it should be made clear that you're better off staying home.
Canada has every right to protect the human rights of its own citizens from criminals and terrorists. As for Amnesty, isn't there a game of naked Slip n' Slide going on in Togo or some John Tesh music being played in West Papua that you guys could go check out instead?
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (October 19/05)
COPYRIGHT 2005 RACHEL MARSDEN