Bush, Castro and human rights

A few weeks after NDP MP Don Davies suggested Dick Cheney should be barred from entering Canada, Amnesty International says Canadian authorities should arrest George W. Bush when he visits next week. It’s not clear that we have the power to do so. Jason Kenney is unimpressed.

“Amnesty International cherrypicks cases to publicize based on ideology. This kind of stunt helps explain why so many respected human rights advocates have abandoned Amnesty International,” Immigration Minister Jason Kenney said.

Kenney noted in an email that in the past, Amnesty had not asked for Canada to bar former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, even though the rights organization itself said he had presided over “arbitrary arrests, detention, and criminal prosecution.”

Castro’s last visit to Canada would seem to have been for Pierre Trudeau’s funeral in October 2000.

Human Rights Watch also wants Canada to take action. Noting Amnesty’s call, Andrew Sullivan lays down a straightforward standard: “Either the Geneva Conventions are the law or they are not.”

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