November 23, 2009

Canadian imperialism's sick manifestations

No to Torture, No to War

Virtual March on Parliament Hill
Call your MP, November 24, 25 and 26, 2009

Election fraud. Torture. Increasing civilian casualties.
If ever there was a time to ask the Afghan people what they want for their future that time is now.

Afghan MP Malalai Joya, “the bravest woman in Afghanistan”, has been speaking to audiences across Canada, to launch her new book, A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan Who Dared to Raise Her Voice. Today we write to ask for your help in ensuring she speaks to your elected representatives about the future of Afghanistan.

All Canadian MPs and Senators have been invited to a Parliamentary Roundtable on Afghanistan with Malalai Joya, at 11:30 am, November 26, 2009 in Ottawa. You can make sure your MP hears what this courageous woman has to say about Canadian policy on Afghanistan.

Will your MP listen? Join the virtual march on Parliament Hill to make sure they do, by phoning and emailing your MP on November 24 and 25.

What you can say to your MP
  • On November 26 will you be participating in the Parliamentary roundtable discussion with Afghan MP Malalai Joya?
  • Unlike the corrupt warlords and druglords in the Afghan parliament Malalai Joya actually represents widespread sentiment in Afghanistan (she had the second highest number of votes in Farah province)
  • She also represents the views of a majority of Canadians who want the troops to come home – not in 2011, but now. The majority of Afghans and Canadians want the troops to leave.
  • In 2007, she was undemocratically suspended from parliament, and threatened with sexual violence by members of that parliament on the pretext that she had insulted other MPs, while the warlords in the Afghan Parliament continue to enjoy impunity.
  • Malalai Joya has survived multiple assassination attempts for her views.
  • Malalai Joya has important policy ideas for concrete steps for building an independent and genuinely democratic Afghanistan.
  • Given the seriousness of the conflict in Afghanistan and its impacts on society here at home, Parliamentarians have an obligation to engage, learn, and understand.
  • If you are serious about democracy in Afghanistan, call for her immediate reinstatement to the Afghan Parliament
For further information about the abuse of detainees please see the Canadian Peace Alliance statement at the end of this e-mail.

Tell your MP to RSVP to: or 613-859-6996.
A full list of contact information for MP's is available at

What else can you do?

Donate your Facebook status.
On November 24, 25, and 26, change your Facebook status to: "2011 is too late, it is better that you withdraw your troops now. Stop wasting your taxpayers' money and young lives killing to prop up drug lords and warlords." - Afghan MP Malalai Joya.

If you agree, please donate your status and join our virtual march on Ottawa. Contact your MP today and demand they meet with Malalai Joya while she is in Ottawa. Visit for details.

The Parliamentary Roundtable on Afghanistan is hosted by the Canadian Peace Alliance and the Ottawa Peace Assembly
Canadian Peace Alliance:
Ottawa Peace Assembly:
Malalai Joya Defence Committee:

End Torture
End the War

The testimony of Richard Colvin shows that the highest levels of the Conservative Government are complicit in war crimes. As many as 600 detainees, many of whom were just innocent bystanders, were handed over to Afghan law enforcement agencies by the Canadian forces. Torture by the Afghan police forces is known to be widespread.

Stephen Harper and Peter MacKay are challenging the credibility of Colvin, saying that he is listening to “Taliban propaganda” Yet it is the Harper government that totally lacks credibility on this issue. It is hard to believe that they didn't see multiple memos and reports from one of the top diplomats in Afghanistan. It would represent a radical departure from standard procedure for any government.

And even if the memos didn't circulate to the political masters in the Conservative party, there were countless reports from international agencies such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International, School of Law of New York University, Center for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch which all said that torture of detainees was widespread. The Tories must have know this information or they showed a woeful lack of knowledge about their main foreign policy plank.

Once the issue of detainee torture hit the media in early 2007, the Harper Government worked to both discredit the reports and to allay fears with a new detainee transfer agreement. That agreement has not stopped the torture of innocent Afghan civilians.

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission released a report in April 2009 that interviewed people who had been detained by Afghan police and army. The results were staggering. According to their findings, 98.5% of detainees said that were tortured. They have concluded that torture “is a commonplace practice in Afghanistan’s law enforcement institutions,” and add that “torture is also perpetrated by the parties to the armed conflict in Afghanistan, including the international security forces.”

According to Afghan MP Malalai Joya, “It is an open secret that this happens. The Canadian government is still supporting this.”

An inquiry into the torture of detainees is long overdue but given the obstructionist nature of the Conservatives, we are unlikely to get a full accounting of these scandalous revelations. Peter MacKay, who earlier this year called for a Parliamentary discussion on the future role of Canada in Afghanistan has decided to cancel that debate, likely because he fears any scrutiny on the torture issue. Complicity in war crimes is too serious an issue to be swept under the carpet. There must be a parliamentary debate on ending Canada's complicity in the crime of the Afghan war.

Torture is part and parcel of this occupation and the so-called 'war on terror.' Right now, the U.S. is expanded the prison at Bagram Airbase in what Afghans are calling a 'new Guantanamo.' Only by ending this occupation can we ensure an end to Canadian complicity in torture. We need to bring the troops home immediately.

Canadian Peace Alliance

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