Tag Archives: ICC

An Historical Timeline – TORTURE FILE

“If you know your history, then you would know where you’re coming from.  Then you wouldn’t have to ask me, who in the hell do I think I am.” – Bob Marley


April 27

Prof. Michael Byers (Canada Research Chair in Global Politics & International Law, University of British Columbia)  and  Prof. William A. Schaba (Irish Centre for Human Rights) sent a letter to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The letter, asks the Prosecutor to investigate whether Canada’s two most senior military officials committed war crimes by allowing unlawful transfers to take place, and by not stopping them when credible reports of torture surfaced.


December 17

Canadian Soldiers Complicit in Rape of Afghan Children” is published by peaceculture.org, calling for the ICC to probe allegations that some Canadian officers serving in Afghanistan told subordinates to ‘look the other way’ when Afghan soldiers and local interpreters sodomized young boys…

“It’s common knowledge that young boys are used in this way in Afghanistan,” said Brad Adams, executive director of the Asia division of Human Rights Watch. “It’s the great dichotomy of Afghanistan. Homosexuality is treated as a cardinal sin, but it’s still common for men to have sex with boys.”  Moreover, Adams said he wasn’t surprised that some Canadian soldiers say they were told to ‘ignore’ cases of abuse. “I think (Western soldiers) look the other way about a number of things, like opium production and warlordism. They are looking the other way on almost everything.”

“I think it’s safe to say that they had other worries, like how they were staying alive,” said retired Canadian major-general Lewis MacKenzie.


September 9 

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court, Mr. Luis Moreno-Ocampo, announced that the ICC had received “allegations from many different sources”, and that he has launched a preliminary examination.  If he finds grounds, a full investigation into war crimes committed by NATO soldiers and insurgents in Afghanistan would be required. Law experts say there is a very real chance Canadian officials could be charged with war crimes.

November 18

Richard Covin testifies to a Special Committee of Parliament in respect of obstruction, intimidation and contempt on the part of Harper’s government, and confirms the commission of widespread war crimes by parties within the government, including the armed forces.

November 19

“Clearly the reality is there is no credible evidence, none, zero, to suggest that a Taliban prisoner transferred from Canadian Forces was ever abused.”
– Peter MacKay (Question Period, Nov. 19, 2009).

November 22

“Not a single Taliban soldier turned over by Canadian forces can be proved to have been abused. That is the crux* of the issue.” – Peter MacKay *
“Crux simplex”, a simple wooden torture stake, according to the classic Greek word “stavros” (“σταυρός”), by Justus Lipsius (1547-1606), De Cruce Libri Tres, Adwerp, 1629, p. 19.

November 26

The Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan presents its THIRD REPORT. (That the Committee believes a serious breach of privilege has occurred and members’ rights have been violated, that the Government of Canada, particularly the Department of Justice and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, have intimidated a witness of this Committee, and obstructed and interfered with the Committee’s work and with the papers requested by the Committee – therefore the Committee reported the breach to the House for consideration).

December 9

Harper’s Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk finally, and for the first time, reveals to reporters that such torture had, in fact, occurred in Afghanistan. (Harper’s ministers say they were aware of neither Natynczyk’s torture reports, nor indeed any of the widespread reports that Afghan authorities were abusing detainees).

December 11

Liberals / NDP / BLOQ MPs pass a motion (votes: 145-143)  in the House Commons that orders Harper’s minority government to release thousands of pages of unedited documents in order that Parliament can examine whether Afghan prisoners detained by Canadian forces were subject to torture when handed over to local authorities, and what the government knew about the issue.

December 16

Embassymag.ca publishes “Could Canadians be charged with war crimes?”

December 30

Harper’s PR officials announce to Canadians that he has shut Parliament down until March by issuing the following angry “ALERT”:

From: Alerte-Info-Alert <Alerte-Info-Alert@pmo-cpm.gc.ca>  | To: Alerte-Info-Alert <Alerte-Info-Alert@pmo-cpm.gc.ca> | Sent: Wed Dec 30 13:25:11 2009 |

Subject: New Throne Speech / Nouveau discours du Trأ´ne
| Today, the Prime Minister announced that the next phase of our Economic Action Plan will be launched, following the Olympic Games, with a Throne Speech on March 3 and a Budget on March 4.

| This is the 105th time in Canada’s history that a new Throne Speech will launch a new session of an existing Parliament.

| The economy remains Canadians’ top priority and our top priority. The three economic themes of the new session will be: (1) completing implementation of the Economic Action Plan, (2) returning the federal budget to balance once the economy has recovered and (3) building the economy of the future.

| Ms Hoeppner’s bill to repeal the long-gun registry will be unaffected by the launch of a new session. We will reintroduce in their original form the consumer safety law (Bill C-6) and the anti-drug-crime law (Bill C-15) that the Ignatieff Liberals gutted.

| We will seek Opposition agreement to proceed expeditiously with other Government legislation — particularly laws urgently needed to fight crime — that the Ignatieff Liberals have blocked and obstructed.


January 5

Harper tells the CBC that  torture is not on Canadians‘ “radar”.


January 9

Canadian voters start ICC letter writing campaign re: war crimes investigation.

January 10

OURCANADA.TK website is launched

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