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Results: 1 - 15 of 701
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
I'd like to begin, Justice Kirby, if I may, not only by commending you for your testimony today and your comprehensive report, but really also for a lifetime of commitment to human rights and the rule of law.
In your commission's final report, in which you document the wide array of crimes against humanity, you conclude by saying that the gravity, scale, and nature of these violations reveal a state that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.
Now this is, as you pointed out clearly, an R2P situation, but if it is an R2P situation, the question arises how can the international community now on the 10th anniversary of R2P best give expression to this imperative in the case of North Korea.
Of course, a reference by the UN Security Council to the ICC would be the best example, and it's always possible this may happen, but I'm not unmindful of the fact that with regard to Syria we were prevented from invoking the R2P there because China and Russia again and again exercised their veto.
My question is what can the international community do either to persuade China and Russia, or if that does not work, other initiatives that we might take, and in particular how may Canadian parliamentarians assist in this regard?
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I also want to commend the witnesses for their informed and graphic testimony on matters relating to the assault on fundamental freedoms, on trade union rights, and not only political prisoners but also the plight of those who are political prisoners in terms of torture, forced confessions, and the like.
As was mentioned as well, you've characterized the Vietnam government as being a totalitarian government, as being a dictatorial regime, which leads to my question then. How can international pressure be effective on a totalitarian regime using, for example, the fundamental freedoms issue that you mentioned, freedom of speech, press, assembly and association?
And I have a specific question I would put to Dieu Cay and that is how can that be effective in securing the release from prison of your colleague, Ta Phong Tan, who is now, as you mentioned, on a hunger strike? Those are my two questions.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
This is something I raised in the last meeting, about inviting Mr. Yigal Carmon, the president of MEMRI, to come and address us on the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to ISIS, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and the like. We had approval in principle, but it was to be framed in the form of a motion so that we could then arrange for his testimony in the ensuing days of our hearings. That's the motion before us.
(Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes, I just want to echo Mr. Sweet's previous comments. I regard it as scandalous really that Vietnam can continue to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council and sit in judgment of matters of human rights while enjoying a form of exculpatory immunity, if not being rewarded, by being able to sit on that council. That is something we should be taking up.
I just have very quick questions for Ms. Nguyen. I take to heart what you said regarding the taking of the prisoners of conscience. Because of time constraints, I have two quick questions.
One, do you have any comments about gender-based violence or violations of women's rights in Vietnam?
The second is that at this point there are serious restrictions on freedom of expression. Vietnam is ranked 174 out 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders' freedom of expression index. My question is this. Do you find there is increasing attention being paid to bloggers and people on the Internet rather than controlling freedom of expression in the traditional media?
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I want to commend both our witnesses for their exemplary and excellent testimony.
Since I have an extra minute and a half, I'll put two questions, one for each of you.
The first question is for Maziar Bahari.
You shared with us some of your initiatives in terms of journalism is not a crime and education is not a crime, and the last, as you mentioned, dogs are not a crime. You mentioned that if you had more time, you might elaborate on some of this. I'd like to give you more time on any of those issues.
Dr. Shaheed, as we've said, we've been having Iran Accountability Week while the nuclear negotiations have overshadowed, if not sanitized, the human rights violations. We wanted to sound the alarm on these human rights violations. How can we try to help to make sure this alarm is being heard?
We'll start with you, Maziar.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Dr. Shaheed.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Any of the witnesses can respond to my question.
As you know, a feature of our Iran Accountability Week is the Iranian political prisoner amnesty project, whereby members of Parliament take up the case and cause of an Iranian political prisoner. How can we make that political prisoner amnesty project more effective, both with respect to the prospective release of political prisoners in Iran and also in order to unmask the overall massive domestic repression in Iran?
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
For our witnesses, very recently the Canadian Parliament unanimously adopted justice for Sergei Magnitsky proposed sanctions along the lines of the global Magnitsky act. Foreign Affairs Minister Nicholson, with whom I've been in discussions, has said that the government will introduce, pursuant to our unanimous motion, global Magnitsky-type legislation, which would if passed do exactly what you suggested regarding Iranian violators.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes, just for 10 seconds, Mr. Chair.
I agree with you that it was a particularly high quality of witness testimony. I just want to say that at 7 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room, we're going to have a public forum involving our witnesses. Those of us who are able to be there this evening might be able to put some questions to them.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Yes. It's at 7 p.m. in the Commonwealth Room.
The Chair: All right.
Hon. Irwin Cotler: Thank you.
View Irwin Cotler Profile
Lib. (QC)
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I join my colleagues in expressing to you our condolences and our understanding of your pain and grief.
In your testimony to us today, you made a number of recommendations, including that we remove Mexico from the list of designated countries, that we encourage transparency in investigations, and guarantee the work of the experts, and that we guarantee the security and the safety of the parents of the 43 children.
In the letter referred to by my colleague Mr. Sweet, the ambassador says that the Government of Mexico condemns the atrocious crimes that were perpetrated, reiterates its commitment to bringing those responsible to justice, and then makes a statement that I'd like you to respond to. I quote, “The Government of Mexico has conducted an investigation which is without precedent in terms of its scope and transparency”.
What would be your response to that statement the ambassador made in his letter to us?
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