By War Criminals Watch
Toronto) Torture suspect and former U.S. Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney is scheduled to speak at the Toronto Global Forum, October 31, 2013, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The event is hosted by the International Economic Forum of the Americas.
Lawyers and others are urging Canada to either bar Dick Cheney from Canada as a person credibly accused of torture – or to arrest and prosecute him on arrival, as required by the Convention against Torture. That Dick Cheney authorized, directed and failed to prevent the widespread use of torture by US officials on non-Americans detained in off-shore prisons is no longer open to question. The United Nations Committee Against Torture has determined that torture suspects temporarily in Canada must be dealt with in accordance with the Convention.
A letter has been sent to Canada’s Prime Minister, Attorney General and Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Immigration advising them of Canada’s legal obligations. For a complete copy of the letter submitted click here.
Gail Davidson, spokesperson for Lawyers Against the War noted, "Evidence of Dick Cheney’s involvement in torture and other gross human rights abuses is overwhelming. It is time for the law to step in. "
"Former Vice President Cheney led the Bush administration into a war based on lies which destroyed Iraq, directing a far-flung regime of torture, rendition and detention he referred to as 'the dark side.' He should be indicted and prosecuted for violations of the conventions against torture," stated Debra Sweet, director of World Can’t Wait.
"Thus far the U.S. has failed to prosecute anyone up the chain of command for abuses that have occurred in the highest offices of the United States of America, setting a precedent for future leaders to repeat the same crimes," states Nancy Mancias, CODEPINK organizer. "We look to the leaders in Canada to take steps to ban former Vice President Dick Cheney from entering the country because of his involvement in torture and the Iraq war."
To sign on to support this campaign, contact
Update - October 16, 2013
(Toronto) Lawyers from the National Lawyers Guild (U.S.), International Association of Democratic Lawyers, European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (Germany), Brussells Tribunal (Belgium), International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq (Iraq, Egypt, Spain), Lawyers Against the War (Canada) and Rights International Spain (Spain) are urging Canada to either bar Dick Cheney from Canada – as a person credibly accused of torture – or to arrest and prosecute him on arrival, as required by the Convention against Torture. A letter from Lawyers Against the War (LAW) sent to Canada’s Prime Minister, Attorney General and Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Immigration has been gravely ignored.
"It is long overdue for Cheney and other Bush administration officials to be held to account for the high crimes of instituting and implementing the systematic practice of torture. This record of impunity must not be allowed to stand," stated Azadeh Shahshahani, President, National Lawyers Guild.
Torture and war crimes suspect Dick Cheney is scheduled as a keynote speaker at the October 31st luncheon of the Toronto Global Forum, hosted by the International Forum of the Americas. Should Cheney be allowed to freely enter Canada despite the illegalities involved, civil society groups are planning a rally beginning at 11:00 am on Halloween, Oct. 31st, outside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
"We are calling on the government of Canada, which has no qualms about enying entry to anti-war activists and is still trying to deport war resisters that refused to follow Cheney's illegal and immoral orders, to arrest this war criminal when he enters Canada," said Sid Lacombe, coordinator of the Canadian Peace Alliance.
Update - October 23, 2013
The Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Section of the Canadian Department of Justice sent a reply to Lawyers Against the War which can be accessed here.
The Facebook page for the protest can be viewed here.
Brussells Tribunal (BT) is peace organization and think tank with a special focus on Iraq. BT founded IAON, the International Anti-Occupation Network which continues to monitor Iraq. Members of the BT network include Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Denis Halliday, Hans von Sponeck, Tun Mahathir, Richard Falk, Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, Eduardo Galeano and many others.
Canadian Peace Alliance (CPA) is Canada's largest umbrella peace organization working for global nuclear disarmament and peace. CPA organizes campaigns, facilitates actions and provides education for peace. Since its foundation in 1985 the organization has been helping member groups to act as a broad network, in order to provide a strong, coordinated voice for peace issues at the national level.
CODEPINK is a US women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end US- funded wars and occupations, to challenge militarism globally, and to redirect our resources into health care, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities – www.codepink.org.
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) is an independent, non-profit legal and educational organization dedicated to protecting civil and human rights throughout Europe. ECCHR engages in innovative strategic litigation, using European, international, and national law to enforce human rights and to hold state and non-state actors accountable for egregious abuses.
The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is committed to the principle of equality among peoples, the rights of all peoples to self-determination, the elimination of imperialism and colonialism and the peaceful settlement of international disputes. IADL has members in over ninety countries and has consultative status with ECOSOC and UNESCO of the United Nations.
International Initiative to Prosecute US Genocide in Iraq is mainly concerned with possibilities for legal action against those responsible of war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide in Iraq.
Lawyers Against the War (LAW) is a Canada-based committee of jurists and others who oppose war and advocate for adherence to international humanitarian law and against impunity for violators.
National Lawyers Guild (NLG) is a U.S. national non-proﬁt legal and political organization comprised of lawyers, legal workers, law students, and jailhouse lawyers, founded in 1937.
Rights International Spain (RIS) is an independent, non-profit, NGO, composed of jurists specialized in international law, human rights, transitional justice and criminal law. RIS mission is to strengthen human rights accountability in Spain by monitoring government activity, with a particular focus on rule of law and access to justice, as well as raising civil society’s awareness and mobilize support to demand justice.
Toronto Coalition to Stop the War (TCSW) is the largest peace organization in the Greater Toronto Area and represents over 60 labour, student, faith and community groups. The TCSW opposes war and occupation and supports civil liberties.
World Can't Wait is a US-based movement formed to halt and reverse the terrible program of war and repression, initiated by the Bush/Cheney regime as well as the on-going crimes that continue to this day – www.worldcantwait.net. War Criminals Watch is a project of World Can’t Wait – www.warcriminalswatch.org.