Human Rights Watch demands that Cheney be charged with torture

Human Rights Watch says overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration includes at least two cases involving Canadian citizens.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

He's coming to Vancouver next week -- and Ottawa is being asked to charge him when he does.

The Canadian Press has the latest on Dick Cheney's visit.

TORONTO -- A major human rights group Saturday urged the federal government to bring criminal charges against former U.S. vice-president Dick Cheney for his alleged role in the torture of Canadian detainees.

Cheney will be in Vancouver on Monday to promote his book "In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir,'' which outlines his version of the war on terror and other events during the administration of president George W. Bush.

Human Rights Watch said overwhelming evidence of torture by the Bush administration, including at least two cases involving Canadian citizens, obligates Canada to investigate Cheney to comply with the Convention Against Torture.

In addition, the New York-based group said, Canadian law expressly provides for jurisdiction over an individual for torture and other crimes if the complainant is a Canadian citizen, even for offences committed outside of Canada.

It recalled that Canada had ratified the Convention Against Torture in 1987 and incorporated its provisions into the Canadian Criminal Code.

"The U.S. has utterly failed to meet its legal obligation to investigate torture by the Bush administration, but that shouldn't let other countries off the hook,'' said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

"Cheney's visit to Vancouver is a rare opportunity to remedy this shameful failure to uphold the rule of law.''

A spokesperson for Cheney could not be reached for comment.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented the role of senior Bush administration officials in authorizing torture of detainees, including "waterboarding'' and prolonged exposure to heat and cold.

The group further said the U.S. was directly responsible or complicit in the alleged torture of at least two Canadian citizens, Maher Arar and Omar Khadr.

"Canada's own investigation into the Maher Arar case shows there is sufficient evidence to investigate Cheney for authorizing torture,'' Roth said.

"Bush, Cheney, and others authorized the abusive detention regime that Canadians and thousands of others were subjected to. They should be held accountable.''

Antiwar activists are expected to protest in Vancouver during Cheney's trip.

More in News

Views from a refugee camp: Who gets into heaven?

I have just returned to Vancouver Island from Greek refugee camps where I met a Yazidi man named Jason who told me about his escape from ISIS in Iraq.   His story begins on a desert road where a...

Vancouver's bicycle sharing grows as 15 new stations installed

Mobi bicycle by Shaw Go in Vancouver. Photo by Christopher Porter from Flickr Creative Commons

International Women's Day Concert celebrates female musicians who turned tragedy into triumph

Every March 8, on International Women's Day, we hear about the achievements of brilliant, talented women around the world. But how often do we learn about the physical and mental disabilities or...
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.