Statement from the NDP on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

NDP MP Wayne Marston (Hamilton East—Stoney Creek) made the following statement to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture:

“On June 26, we in the international human rights community, honour the world’s many victims of torture.

“The prohibition on torture is well established under international law.  It is binding on all States, in all territories under their jurisdiction or effective control.  It applies in all circumstances, in times of war as in times of peace.  Nor is torture permissible when it is called something else: cruel and inhuman treatment is unacceptable and illegal, irrespective of the name we give it.

“While Canada was one of the first to sign and ratify the UN Convention Against Torture, it has yet to do either to the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.

“Worse still, in 2011, then-Public Safety Minister Vic Toews authorized law enforcement agencies to use torture-tainted intelligence in what he called “exceptional circumstances,” in direct violation of Article 15 of the UN Convention Against Torture which, among other things, states that signatories must “ban the use of evidence produced by torture.”

“On this International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, we must therefore recommit to never involve our country again, either directly or indirectly, in the torture of another human being. We must also redouble our efforts on the international stage to ensure that all people, everywhere, need never be subjected to this odious practise again.”