CJPME releases recommendations for Canada’s Syria policy

Montreal, March 6, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) has released detailed recommendations for Canadian policies to address the Syrian crisis. They include:   Provide 4.5 percent of the total OECD support for humanitarian relief for Syrian refugees and internally displaced. Fast-track Syrian refugee and immigration applications, and resettle in Canada 30,000 Syrian refugees and internally displaced over the next 12 months. Help Palestinian refugees in Syria who are caught in the conflict; resettle in Canada 10,000 of the nearly half a million Palestinian refugees normally resident in Syria; restore funding for UNRWA’s core programmes; respond more generously to UNRWA’s emergency appeal. Support international efforts for a non-military solution to the Syrian civil war. Support UN efforts to legally pursue war criminals in Syria. Ensure that Canadian military exports do not wind up in the hands of either side in the Syria conflict; suspend all Canadian military exports destined for end use by Saudi Arabia. Continue reading


MPs must speak up on Palestinian detainee’s torture-death

Montreal, February 26, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) calls on Canadian MPs to speak out against the apparent torture-death Saturday of a 30-year-old Palestinian man in the custody of Israeli authorities. “This prisoner’s death is horribly reminiscent of black detainees’ deaths in apartheid-era South Africa,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. The IDF and Shin Bet (Israel’s domestic intelligence agency) arrested Arafat Jaradat (30) at his home in the small town of Sa’eer, near Al-Khalil (Hebron) at midnight on February 18, alleging that he had thrown stones at cars carrying Israelis from a nearby “settlement.” A doctor present at the autopsy conducted by Israel’s forensics institute in Tel Aviv reports that Jaradat’s body displayed signs of beatings in the days prior to his death. Continue reading


Syrian atrocities should be referred to ICC

Montreal, February 21, 2013 —Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) backs UN officials’ call to bring charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) against both Syrian government officials and anti-government armed groups for their respective war crimes. CJPME welcomes the detailed report released February 18 by the UN-appointed Commission of Inquiry on Syria. According to the report, both government forces and anti-government armed groups have massacred civilians and hors de combat fighters. Commission official Carla del Ponte—former chief prosecutor for the international criminal tribunal on Yugoslavia—says that the Commission has identified high-level perpetrators and evidence warrants their prosecution by the ICC. “The perpetrators—whatever their allegiances—must be tried for the crimes that the evidence gathered by the Commission of Inquiry points to,” says CJPME President Thomas Woodley. Continue reading


World indifferent as Palestinian hunger striker nears death

Montreal, February 13, 2013  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) is extremely concerned that Samer Issawi—a 34-year-old Palestinian on a hunger strike—is near death. Issawi has been on hunger strike for over 200 days to protest his detention by Israeli authorities without charge or trial.  Issawi was one of several hundred Palestinian prisoners released in December 2011 as part of a prisoner exchange. He had been imprisoned since 2002. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), he was arrested again on July 7, 2012 on the basis of an Israeli military order revoking his release. He was initially held at the Moscobiyya Detention Centre where he was interrogated for 28 days, and was denied access to his lawyer for the first 23 days. HRW has urged Israel to either release the prisoners or charge them and try them in processes that meet international human rights standards. Continue reading


CJPME applauds request to refer Syrian situation to ICC

Montreal, January 14, 2013  —  Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME) applauds the decision of 57 countries to ask the UN Security Council to refer the Syrian situation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for investigation. The joint initiative asks the Security Council to refer the situation in Syria to the ICC for investigation of numerous alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity, “without exceptions and irrespective of the alleged perpetrators.” The group of countries making the request is diverse: Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Japan, Botswana, Libya and Tunisia, among others. Continue reading


CJPME lauds UN’s decision to recognize Palestine as a state

Montreal, November 29, 2012  — Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East is delighted that the UN General Assembly has granted Palestine “observer state” status at the UN. The vote represents a significant step forward for the international recognition and self-determination of the Palestinian people.  While the vote does not confer full member-state status for Palestine, it will give the Palestinians access to several new legal and diplomatic tools by which they can further their aspirations for full statehood.   Continue reading