By Candice Malcolm
Thursday, 7 December 2017
The Trudeau government continues to flip flop when it comes to its foreign policy objectives.
Does Canada want to champion human rights and liberal democratic values, or does it want to befriend rogue nations and work to build new alliances – even with historically adversarial regimes?
While all eyes were on Prime Minister Trudeau in China this week, there is another example of Trudeau’s two-faced approach to human rights and foreign policy: Iran.
Last month, Canada led efforts at the United Nations to pass a draft resolution condemning Iran for its grave human rights abuses.
Canada has sponsored this initiative on the world stage for 14 years, following the brutal rape, torture and murder of a Canadian journalist, arbitrarily arrested by Iranian regime officials in 2003.
Ever since 2003, Liberal and Conservative Canadian governments have carried on this tradition, providing much-needed leadership when it comes to identifying Iran’s ongoing violations and censuring the authoritarian regime.
This year’s UN resolution came on the heels of a damning report by Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, detailing the horrific actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Among other injustices, the report highlights how children are given the death penalty, political activists and organizers are arbitrarily arrested—facing torture and amputation—and the growing persecution against Iran’s few religious minorities, and specifically, the Baha’i community.
The report provides more details about an infamous 1988 massacre, which has never been officially acknowledged.
“Between July and August 1988, thousands of political prisoners, men, women and teenagers, were reportedly executed pursuant to a Fatwa issued by the then Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khomeini,” states the report.
“The bodies of the victims were reportedly buried in unmarked graves and their families never informed of their whereabouts.”
The report also notes that a 2016 audio recording revealed the names of the Iranian officials who carried out this vicious crime against humanity, including Iran’s current justice minister.
On the world stage, Canada has embraced a leadership role in condemning Iran for human rights abuses, and yet, when a bill was introduced to condemn Iran in Canada’s own Parliament, the Liberals came out against it.
Bill S-219, “An Act to deter Iran-sponsored terrorism, incitement to hatred, and human rights violations” was introduced last year by Conservative Senator David Tkachuk, and should receive all-party support.
It seeks to improve reporting on Iran’s human rights abuses and to use sanctions against Iran’s state-owned entities.
This would prevent the funneling of money from Canadian businesses into the regime’s coffers, where it is used to build bombs, imprison innocent Iranians and fund jihadist organizations including Hezbollah and Hamas.
Bill S-219 has received support from Iranian dissidents in Canada, as well as the Canadian Coalition Against Terror – who launched a website in support of the bill: www.support-s219.com
Unfortunately, Liberals in the Senate have opposed this bill, without offering any amendments or working towards a compromise.
Many believe this is because the Liberal party actively courts the vote of Iranian ex-pats who are sympathetic to the Iranian regime.
When it comes to taking a stand against Iran at the United Nations, the Trudeau Liberals have been bold and continue to do the right thing in condemning Iran’s bad behaviour.
But when it comes to doing the exact same thing at home, these Liberal politicians prefer to compromise their principles and cower to pro-regime lobbyists in Canada.