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Canadian minister slams Amnesty International

Aug. 10, 2011 at 8:33 AM
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OTTAWA, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Canada's immigration minister is accusing the Amnesty International rights group of slander for its criticism of the deportation of suspected war criminals.

Minister Jason Kenney, a Conservative member of Parliament, posted a letter to the human rights group he belonged to as a teenager on his personal parliamentary Web site, berating it for an open letter it issued last week.

Amnesty wrote Kenney and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, complaining the government's release last month of names and photographs of 30 people suspected of war or human rights crimes infringed on their human rights.

Kenney described the group's allegations as "poppycock," and questioned its accuracy.

"Casually asserting that this generous system violates 'human rights and international justice,' without elaboration or specific citations, is sloppy and irresponsible," Kenney wrote. "In fact, this is precisely the slander you wrongly accuse the government of directing at the deportees.

"Your calls for more time, more process, more deference and more protection for war criminals and serious human rights violators … come across as self-congratulatory moral preening."

Alex Neve, Amnesty's Canadian secretary general, told the QMI Agency he stood by the letter.

"Deportation does not lead to justice," he said. "In fact, very often it could simply be an escape route for someone who should face justice."

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