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Irwin Cotler

Ancien député de Mont-Royal, conseiller juridique du blogueur Raif Badawi

Irwin Cotler est l'ancien député de Mont-Royal, où il a d’abord été élu lors d’une élection complémentaire, en novembre 1999. Il fut ministre de la Justice et procureur général du Canada de 2003 à 2006. Le professeur Cotler a siégé aux comités des cabinets suivants : affaires autochtones; affaires intérieures; affaires internationales; relations Canada-États-Unis; sécurité, santé publique et protection civile. Irwin Cotler est actuellement conseiller juridique international auprès du blogueur saoudien Raif Badawi. Il a récemment fondé le Centre Raoul Wallenberg pour les droits de l'homme.
We Must Protest Against Injustice Wherever It

We Must Protest Against Injustice Wherever It Appears

The White House statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism. As Holocaust historian Professor Deborah Lipstadt put it, "what we saw from the White House was classic softcore denial. The Holocaust was de-Judaized."
02/01/2017 01:44 EST
Canada Has The Power To Seek Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi's

Canada Has The Power To Seek Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi's Freedom

Badawi has been languishing in a Saudi prison since his first arrest in 2012, and his subsequent sentencing in 2014 to 10 years imprisonment and 1000 lashes, itself constitutive of torture and a standing violation of international human rights law. Raif Badawi's "crime"? Establishing an online forum and exercising his right to freedom of expression.
11/09/2016 03:48 EST
Elie Wiesel: Conscience Of

Elie Wiesel: Conscience Of Humanity

When the Nobel Prize Committee awarded Elie the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 the choice was greeted with international acclaim, for it is difficult to imagine any other person in the world who had so commanded the respect of political leaders and the people themselves. As for myself, Elie has always been my teacher, mentor, role model, inspiration, and friend of 50 years - in a word, the most remarkable human being I have ever encountered.
07/11/2016 01:17 EDT
We Have A Responsibility To Prevent And Protect Against

We Have A Responsibility To Prevent And Protect Against Genocide

The horror of the killing fields in Rwanda gave rise to the Responsibility to Protect Doctrine. In a word, if such mass atrocity crimes are being committed, and the state where these crimes are occurring is unwilling or unable to act -- or worse, is the author of such international crimes -- the Responsibility to Protect arises.
05/19/2016 03:24 EDT
A Hero That Embodies The Universal Lessons Of The

A Hero That Embodies The Universal Lessons Of The Holocaust

In July 1944, some 430,000 Hungarian Jews had been deported to Auschwitz in the space of 10 weeks -- the fastest, cruelest and most efficient mass murder of the Nazi genocide. Yet Wallenberg rescued some 100,000 Jews in six months in Hungary in 1944, demonstrating that one person with the courage to care, and the commitment to act, can confront evil and transform history.
01/28/2016 01:26 EST
10 Things Canada's Human Rights Policy Should

10 Things Canada's Human Rights Policy Should Include

Thus far, election discourse has been dominated by exchanges on the economy and related issues such as jobs, growth, taxes, and the like, and where the term "middle class" has become metaphor and message of that discourse. Accordingly, the Munk Debates on foreign policy are a welcome addition to the political discourse, particularly as foreign policy itself is not characterized as a salient issue for electoral purposes.
09/28/2015 06:26 EDT
Canada Must Take Action to Protect Human Rights in

Canada Must Take Action to Protect Human Rights in Bangladesh

Few media outlets have mentioned the abuses that minorities in Bangladesh have endured since the country won its independence from Pakistan in 1971. Discrimination is particularly brutal against the indigenous peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts region, who have suffered horrific human rights violations at the hands of Bangladeshi settlers and the military forces supporting them. Canada is an aid donor to Bangladesh and must take action to end the ongoing human rights violations against religious minorities and indigenous peoples.
05/01/2015 12:28 EDT
Women's Rights are Human Rights, So Let's Make a

Women's Rights are Human Rights, So Let's Make a Change

This year's theme for International Women's Day was "Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture it!" Picture it... Picture it, because despite all the efforts that have been made in Canada and around the world, despite all the progress, there is still (too) much that remains to be done.
03/09/2015 05:54 EDT
Human Rights in Iran: Marginalized and

Human Rights in Iran: Marginalized and Sanitized

What follows is an overview of some of the more serious human rights violations that continue in Iran -- and the corresponding Iranian defiance of its international commitments -- underpinned by an ongoing culture of impunity.
02/10/2015 05:53 EST
Auschwitz 70 Years Later: Universal Lessons for Our

Auschwitz 70 Years Later: Universal Lessons for Our Time

I write at an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness, and of action. I write also in the immediate aftermath of anti-Semitic terror and killing in France, and in the midst of ongoing mass atrocities by Boko Haram in Nigeria, ethnic cleansing in Darfur and South Sudan, and killing fields in Syria and elsewhere. And so, at this important historical moment, we should ask ourselves: What have we learned in the last 70 years, and more importantly, what must we do?
01/27/2015 12:38 EST
Canada, Hold China Accountable For Its Suppression of Human

Canada, Hold China Accountable For Its Suppression of Human Rights

In a word, Dr. Wang's and Dr. Liu's continuing detentions are case studies of the Chinese government's massive repression of human rights defenders and violations of their own undertakings to us to respect their domestic and international legal obligations. Regrettably, the Chinese government has succeeded in having the narrative focus on the regime's openness to trade, technology, and business, and away from justice, democracy, and human rights.
11/08/2014 12:59 EST
Iran's President Continues to Violate Human

Iran's President Continues to Violate Human Rights

While Iranian President Rouhani pledged to usher in a new era of human rights for Iranians, he continues to engage in massive repression. What follows is an overview of some of the serious human rights violations in Iran that serve as a litmus test for the authenticity of Rouhani's commitment to human rights for the Iranian people.
09/18/2014 05:54 EDT
In the War Between Israel and Gaza, Truth Was the First

In the War Between Israel and Gaza, Truth Was the First Casualty

The notion that truth is the first casualty of war has found expression in the ongoing fog of the current Israel-Hamas conflict -- where truth is obscured or masked by oft-repeated clichés such as "cycle of violence," false moral equivalences, or unconscionable allegations of Israeli "genocide." If we want to prevent further tragedies in this conflict -- let alone frame the basis for its resolution -- then we have to go behind the daily headlines that cloud if not corrupt understanding, probe the real root causes of conflict, and finally travel the road not yet taken to its just resolution.
08/10/2014 11:51 EDT
The Need for Moral Clarity on the Israel-Hamas

The Need for Moral Clarity on the Israel-Hamas War

While Hamas has rejected cease-fires proposed by Egypt and the UN, including a humanitarian cease-fire, it has continued its relentless rocket assaults and tunnel invasions, the proximate triggers for this immediate conflict. If we want to prevent further tragedies, it is important to go beyond the "fog of war" -- to go behind the daily headlines that cloud understanding and the clichés (the "cycle of violence") that corrupt it -- and ask some fundamental questions about root causes and the basis for its resolution.
07/29/2014 05:22 EDT
We Must Go Beyond the Cycle of Violence in Gaza to Find Moral

We Must Go Beyond the Cycle of Violence in Gaza to Find Moral Clarity

I will stand with those who support the right of peoples in the Middle East -- Israelis and Palestinians alike -- to live in peace and security, free from any threats or acts of force, a cornerstone of UN principle and Canadian foreign policy; and I will oppose all those, like Hamas and its patron Iran, who seek the destruction of any people or state in violation of the UN Charter.
07/28/2014 01:39 EDT
Canada's Having a Prostitution Debate, Just Not an Informed

Canada's Having a Prostitution Debate, Just Not an Informed One

The Government released a report on its consultations regarding Parliament's response to the Supreme Court decision last December striking down several prostitution-related offences in the Criminal Code. Regrettably, the information made available about the consultations raises more questions than it answers, and leads one to query whether an informed debate will occur.
06/03/2014 12:31 EDT
Rouhani Is No

Rouhani Is No "Moderate" When it Comes to Human Rights

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani repeatedly touts his commitment to "constructive engagement" with the international community, particularly as he negotiates a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Yet, as nuclear talks resume this week, the systematic and widespread violations of human rights in Iran continue unabated.
05/07/2014 06:00 EDT
Questions About Justice Marc Nadon

Questions About Justice Marc Nadon Linger

In Monday's question period, much of the back-and-forth concerned the insinuations from the Prime Minister's Office of wrongdoing on the part of the Chief Justice in striking down Justice Nadon's appointment to the Supreme Court. What follows are eight questions that arise from this whole affair.
05/06/2014 12:41 EDT
Invading Ukraine Is Bad, But so Is Putin's Treatment of

Invading Ukraine Is Bad, But so Is Putin's Treatment of Russians

The same authoritarianism, revanchism, and criminality that have characterized the Putin regime's approach to human rights -- and that have gone unpunished, if not unnoticed, by the international community -- have characterized its actions in Ukraine, and in Georgia before it.
05/03/2014 07:23 EDT
The Release of Jonathan Pollard Is a Matter of

The Release of Jonathan Pollard Is a Matter of Justice

With President Obama's call for a "pause" in the floundering if not failed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, the U.S. gambit to use the promise of Jonathan Pollard's release as an incentive for talks has arguably now ended. The injection of Pollard's release -- the former U.S. naval intelligence analyst sentenced to life imprisonment in 1987 for passing secret documents to Israel -- as a bargaining chip should not have happened anyway and here is why.
04/25/2014 05:12 EDT