Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kenney vs Amnesty International

In this item, AI stands for Amnesty International, not Artificial Intelligence. Based on the letter the organization's Canadian heads sent to Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney this week, it is doubtful they possess much intelligence, artificial or otherwise.

In their letter, AI complains that the rights of war criminals illegally residing in Canada were violated by publicising their names and photos so the public could aid in their apprehension.
"Amnesty International is concerned about the fact that these cases have been so widely publicized in the context of the lower standards of proof and less rigorous rules of evidence that apply in immigration proceedings. Given that no information is publicly available about the specifics of the allegations in these cases, including the source of the allegations or the seriousness of the charges, the fact that these individuals’ faces and names have been so widely publicized is of particular concern. In addition to reputational harm, it may increase the risk they face upon deportation or put their relatives at risk. "
Kenney made them look like fools in a sarcasm-laden response that pointed out the utter hypocrisy and stupidity of a once noble organization that has descended into a sham that protects abusers of human rights rather than defends their victims.

"You correctly note that these men have “been found ineligible for entry into Canada on the basis of these accusations, and have been ordered deported” (though the snide preface “apparently” is unnecessary and unworthy), but you object that “the details about the nature, basis or seriousness of the accusations against them have [not] been made public.” This is not entirely true and, where true, not fair. 

Where the individuals have made their records public, either voluntarily or in federal court, the details of their cases are well known. For example, we know that one of the 30 men still at large, Jose Domingo Malaga Arica, admitted to participating in helicopter raids on villages in which women and children were machine-gunned indiscriminately and to transporting accused criminals to be tortured. We know this because his federal court record is public. However, in cases where no exception to the Privacy Act applies, the government has not revealed such detailed information. What would AI’s reaction be if we did? I think I can guess from your demand at the end of your letter that we do more to “safeguard” the “privacy” of these scofflaws. You can’t have it both ways: you can’t protest that we have not revealed enough information about these men at the same time you oppose our identifying them at all. Is it your position that the Canadian public does not deserve to know that these men are hiding among us unless or until each of them has signed a privacy waiver allowing details of their complicity in crimes against humanity to be made public? If so, I respectfully disagree. I believe the Canadian public deserves better."

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