Human Rights

Systemic racism at intelligence agency?

A Muslim former officer at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service says systemic racism and a lack of diversity constitute a national security threat at the agency. Huda Mukbil says she was treated as an internal threat and interrogated about her religion during her 15-year career as well as forced to cut ties with Muslim organizations. [node:read-more:link]

Convicted police officer sentenced for Floyd death

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. Hours before the hearing, Judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin's motion for a new trial, saying his attorney failed to prove either abuses from the court or prosecutorial or juror misconduct. [node:read-more:link]

Residential schools a defining issue

The suspected remains of 751 people, believed to be mainly indigenous children, have been found at the site of a former church-run residential school in Saskatchewan. Confirmed by an indigenous group June 23, the latest development adds to a growing national and international debate sparked by the earlier find of 215 children’s remains at a similar school in British Columbia. [node:read-more:link]

Rosalie Abella: rebel with a cause

Madam Justice Rosalie Abella, retiring from the Supreme Court of Canada at the mandatory age of 75, has been considered as the country’s foremost activist judge. While not the first jurist to so categorized, she definitely has pushed the cout-knows-best doctrine when it comes to shaping social policy in an era when legislatures are widely seen as mishandling that portfolio. [node:read-more:link]

Iran: new president a hard-liner

Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line veteran of Iran’s judiciary, has been elected as the country’s next president, effective in August when the moderate leader Hassan Rouhani’s term expires. Raisi, who oversaw the abduction and secret execution of political prisoners, also is seen as a likely successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. [node:read-more:link]

Iran: moderates’ predictions coming true?

When Donald Trump arbitrarily withdrew the U.S. from a multinational nuclear accord with Iran in 2018 and imposed crushing economic sanctions, there were suggestions that it would backfire, entrenching conservative hard-liners in Tehran for years to come. Their concerns evidently were justified. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa urged to stop RCMP contracting out

As the RCMP is pressed to be more sensitive to racial issues and other, a House of Commons committee says the government should consider ending contract policing by the RCMP. “A transformative national effort is required to ensure that all . . . racialized people . . . are not subject to the discrimination and injustice that is inherent in the system,” the committee says in a June 17 report. [node:read-more:link]

Asylum seekers in abusive custody?

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International say in a joint report that Canada detains thousands of asylum seekers every year in often abusive conditions where people of colour appear to be held for longer periods. Ketty Nivyabandi, Secretary-General of AI Canada, says the system contrasts starkly with the country’s rich diversity and values of equality and justice. [node:read-more:link]

Indigenous bill approved despite opposition

A federal government bill designed to bring Canadian law into line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples now needs only Royal Assent to take effect. Bill C-15 had been resisted by Conservatives in the House of Commons and Senate who shared the concerns of six provincial premiers about the implications for their jurisdictions. [node:read-more:link]

Inuit MP feels racially profiled

Mumilaaq Qaqqaq, an Inuit MP first elected to the House of Commons in 2019, says she does not plan to run again due to the “intimidating” behaviour of Parliamentary Protective Service personnel. “I've had security jog after me down hallways, nearly put their hands on me and racial profile me,” the New Democratic Party MP said this week when telling the House about her decision. The PPS responded with a statement that it is committed to its security role while ensuring “a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment” in the parliamentary precinct. [node:read-more:link]

More charges for Aung San Suu Kyi

Myanmar's military authorities have laid corruption charges against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, specifically accusing her of accepting bribes. This is atop earlier charges related to alleged illegal importation of half a dozen handheld radios and inciting unrest. The former state counsellor was arrested during a February coup. [node:read-more:link]

Tribunal awards damages to black child

The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal has awarded $35,000 in damages to a black child who was handcuffed and restrained by police at an elementary school in September 2016 when she was six years old. The decision comes approximately one year after the tribunal ruled that the two officers, responding to a fourth call about the girl that month, had been “racially discriminatory.” [node:read-more:link]


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