Amnesty International Report 2006 - Canada
|Publication Date||23 May 2006|
|Cite as||Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2006 - Canada, 23 May 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/447ff7a2b.html [accessed 20 April 2015]|
Indigenous women and girls continued to suffer a high level of discrimination and violence. There were concerns that counter-terrorism practices did not conform to human rights obligations.
Canada ratified in September the Optional Protocol to the UN Children's Convention on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, and in November the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
Violence against Indigenous women
High levels of discrimination and violence against Indigenous women continued. Federal and provincial governments announced initiatives to address these problems, but officials failed to advance a comprehensive national strategy. Crucially, police responses to threats against Indigenous women's lives were inconsistent and often inadequate.
There were reports of excessive use of force involving taser guns. During the year, five men died after being subdued by police using a taser, bringing the number of such deaths to 14 since April 2003.
Security and human rights
A public inquiry continued into Canada's role in the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian-Syrian national who was deported in 2002 from the USA to Syria where he was detained without charge for a year and tortured.
There were concerns about three other dual Canadian nationals who had been detained and tortured abroad: Abdullah Almalki, of Syrian origin, held in Syria for nearly two years; Ahmad Abou El-Maati, of Syrian origin, held in Syria and Egypt for over two years; and Muayyed Nureddin, of Iraqi origin, held in Syria for one month. The government refused to hold a public inquiry into the cases.
Four Muslim men remained in detention pending deportation and a fifth was released on strict bail restrictions, all pursuant to security certificates issued under the 2001 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. The men faced a serious risk of torture if deported. Under security certificate proceedings, detainees only have access to summaries of evidence and no opportunity to challenge key witnesses.
There were reports that Canadian forces in Afghanistan were handing over detainees to US forces without reliable assurances that the detainees would not be subjected to the death penalty, and would be treated in a manner consistent with international humanitarian law and human rights obligations.
Omar Khadr, a Canadian national arrested by US forces in Afghanistan in July 2002 when he was a minor, remained in US custody in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where he had been since November 2002. In August an interim injunction was granted by the Federal Court of Canada prohibiting Canadian officials from questioning Omar Khadr unless this directly related to providing him with consular assistance.
Under the 2004 Canada/USA "safe-third country" deal, most refugee claimants arriving in Canada via the USA were restricted to making refugee claims in the USA, where there were concerns that some faced human rights violations.
The government announced in November that it would not enact provisions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to establish a full appeal of decisions denying refugee status.
In October, Rwandan national Desire Munyaneza, who had been denied refugee status in Canada, became the first person charged under the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act.
There were no further negotiations with the Lubicon Cree in Alberta. In November the UN Human Rights Committee called on Canada to make every effort to resolve the long-standing land dispute, to consult with the Lubicon before licensing any economic exploitation of the disputed lands, and to ensure that the human rights of the Lubicon are not jeopardized by such activities.
AI country visits
In October AI's Secretary General visited Canada and met federal government officials to discuss a range of human rights issues.