Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Canada Not Serious about Protecting its Citizens

Canada Not Serious about Protecting its Citizens or Defending Human Rights

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – After taking more than a year to respond, the Canadian Government has failed to address an official complaint filed by Harmeet Singh Sooden regarding his mistreatment by Israeli authorities.

Travelling on a Canadian passport, Mr Sooden entered Israel on 14 June 2008 to volunteer for the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) as a human rights defender in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). He was assaulted and injured, threatened, denied the right to legal counsel and consular representation, held incommunicado in solitary confinement, and unlawfully deported on 18 June 2008. He was told by Israeli authorities that he was being deported for being “a threat to the security of the State of Israel”.


In his complaint of 29 September 2008, Mr Sooden asked DFAIT: to make a formal protest to the Government of Israel for denying him consular access; to seek accountability for the excessive use of force by Israeli authorities against him; and to ensure that human rights defenders are not denied entry into the OPT to do legitimate human rights work.

In its belated response, DFAIT called the details of Mr Sooden’s mistreatment “troubling”. The two-paragraph letter went on to say, “Officials at the Canadian Embassy in Israel have informed Israeli authorities of our concerns surrounding this case.”

“It’s taken DFAIT over a year to respond,” says Mr Sooden, “they’ve told me nothing, they seem to have done nothing. They obviously haven’t taken this complaint seriously at all. This is yet another example of our government failing to protect the rights of Canadians abroad.”

Mr Sooden’s deportation from Israel appears to be part of an ongoing Israeli policy to prevent human rights defenders from documenting and exposing Israel’s human rights violations in the OPT. “DFAIT’s response is consistent with the Canadian Government’s failure to condemn Israel’s serious violations of international law, including war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity,” says Mr Sooden.

ISM is an international human rights organisation composed of Palestinians, Israelis and internationals who monitor the human rights situation and protect human rights in the OPT. Several human rights defenders affiliated with ISM have been killed, severely injured, imprisoned or deported by Israeli authorities—a fact largely unreported in the West.

Mr Sooden and three others were kidnapped in Iraq on 26 November 2005 while participating in an international Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) delegation. One member of the group, US citizen Tom Fox, was murdered on 9 March 2006. Mr Sooden and the remaining hostages, Canadian James Loney and Briton Norman Kember, were freed two weeks later.

Mr Sooden returned to Iraq as part of another CPT delegation in November 2009.


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral meeting in Singapore with New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting – which usually involves just an exchange of smiles and pleasantries before the media is sent out of the room – to launch into matters of genuine substance.

By doing so, Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute. More>>

 

Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Qualifications, Class Sizes: Ten Year Plan For Early Learning

“Moving towards 100 percent qualified teachers in early childhood education centres and improving adult:child ratios are among some of the key proposals for change put forward by the sector and experts in the new draft ten year strategic plan for early learning,” Chris Hipkins said. More>>

ALSO:

Teacher Strikes: Meeting, March And Rally In Wellington

Throughout the Wellington region the NZEI rolling strikes entered their final day Friday. Thousands of teachers met in Wellington, Kapiti, Porirua and the Wairarapa. More>>

ALSO:

14/11: Two Years’ Progress Since The Kaikoura Earthquake

Mayor John Leggett said it was a day for reflection, but also a time to recognise the work by many people to support progress towards recovery made across Marlborough since November 2016. More>>

ALSO:

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little. More>>

ALSO:

Appointments: New High Commissioner To Australia Announced

“Dame Annette King needs no introduction given her long running career as a parliamentarian where she has previously held a number senior Cabinet portfolios, including Justice, Police and Health. She also was Parliament’s longest serving female MP with 30 years’ service,” said Mr Peters. More>>

ALSO:

Two Years Since Kaikoura: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels