Thursday, June 14, 2007

MacKay to Khadr: Wait

Peter MacKay announced yesterday that he had spoken to Condi Rice about Omar Khadr and had received reassurances that he was being treated well in Gitmo. MacKay decided that Canada's "new" government will just wait until Khadr has exhausted the appeals process before doing anything about his indefinite detention. The US government has appealed the decision to dismiss the charges against him but there isn't even an appeals court in place to deal with it. The military tribunals system is a illegal farce but MacKay seems to think that backing Bush, who keeps having to rework it, is the right - the Canadian - thing to do. He's wrong.

Meanwhile, MacKay also chooses to ignore allegations of torture brought forward by Khadr through his lawyer. So of course Condi said everything was fine and that was good enough for this absolutely useless foreign affairs minister who's scared that acting on Khadr's behalf will anger the Conservative base which has already decided that he's guilty and is a "terrorist".

In contrast, MacKay has been much more vocal about the case of Huseyin Celil, a Canadian citizen imprisoned in China, saying that Canada will not abandon him. Why the double standard?

As I've noted before and as the Globe and Mail reports: Canada 'stands alone' on Khadr

The failure of the Canadian government to seek Omar Khadr's release from Guantanamo Bay leaves it standing virtually alone on the world stage, according to Amnesty International.

Almost every other individual in the U.S. compound in Cuba has governments fighting for their release, Amnesty International Canada Secretary-General Alex Neve said Thursday, insisting it is time Canada joined the effort.

“Even though everyone else seems to get it... Canada still remains silent,” Mr. Neve said. “This isn't law. This isn't justice. This must end.”

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