Cablegate: Canada Formalizes Its Opposition to the Death

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) On November 25, Canada ratified the Second Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights, in support of its long-standing opposition to the
death penalty. The treaty requires that parties abolish the
death penalty within their respective jurisdictions. The
last execution in Canada took place in 1962, and the House of
Commons abolished capital punishment on July 14, 1976.
Canada voted in favor of the treaty when it was adopted by
the UN General Assembly in 1989, and ratification formalizes
the country's policy and practice.

2. (U) In addition to this Protocol, Canada is a party to
all six major international human rights conventions: the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women; the Convention Against Torture
and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or
Punishment; the International Convention on the Elimination
of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on
the Rights of the Child.

3. (U) On December 2, Amnesty International organized a
peaceful protest to mark the 1000th execution in the U.S.
since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. None of the
major Canadian press noted either of last week's U.S.
executions, although the nationally distributed Globe and
Mail ran a front page story with the headline "Should Tookie
Be Executed?: The founder of the notorious Crips gang has
become the flashpoint for the U.S. debate over capital
punishment." The Ottawa Citizen ran its story, "Not Everyone
Wants to Save 'Tookie' Williams" on page 15.

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