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Publications - November 6, 2014
 
MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS
 
Meeting No. 43
 
Thursday, November 6, 2014
 

The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development met in a televised session at 1:03 p.m. this day, in Room 237-C, Centre Block, the Chair, Scott Reid, presiding.

 

Members of the Subcommittee present: Tyrone Benskin, Nina Grewal, Wayne Marston, Scott Reid, Gary Ralph Schellenberger and David Sweet.

 

Acting Members present: Adam Vaughan for Hon. Irwin Cotler.

 

In attendance: Library of Parliament: Erin Shaw, Analyst; Miguel Bernal-Castillero, Analyst.

 

Witnesses: Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development: Johanne Forest, Director, Central America and Caribbean Relations Division; Henri-Paul Normandin, Director General, Latin America and Caribbean Bureau.

 
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Subcommittee on Thursday, November 7, 2013, the Subcommittee resumed its study of the Human Rights Situation in Honduras.
 

Henri-Paul Normandin made a statement and answered questions.

 

At 2:01 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 2:01 p.m., the sitting resumed.

 
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Subcommittee on Thursday, November 7, 2013, the Subcommittee resumed its study of the Forced Harvesting and Trafficking of Human Organs.
 

It was agreed, — That the Subcommittee adopt the following statement:

“The Subcommittee has heard troubling testimony about the forced harvesting and trafficking of human organs. The gap between the supply of and demand for donor organs has given rise to a number of unethical and illegal practices. Individuals on transplant lists often must wait years for an organ to become available legally in Canada or elsewhere. Desperate to live, these individuals may decide to travel abroad for the transplant, to a country where they can purchase an organ. Sadly, the organs in this global trade are often taken – without consent – from the world’s poorest people and from those most vulnerable to exploitation. The Subcommittee was disturbed by the evidence it heard that organs were being forcibly harvested for transplant from executed prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in the People’s Republic of China. Witnesses indicated that police, military and medical professionals in a number of regions of China were involved in illegal organ harvesting, implicating doctors, researchers, hospital and clinical staff, as well as justice sector professionals.

In light of the evidence that it has heard, the Subcommittee:

  • expresses its deep concern over credible allegations that prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in the People’s Republic of China are being executed for the purposes of harvesting and transplanting their organs;
  • expresses its deep concern over the persistent and credible reports of systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience and members of religious and ethnic minority groups in the People’s Republic of China;
  • condemns and calls for an immediate end to the practice of organ transplantation from living or deceased donors without free, informed and specific consent from donors or, where appropriate, their next of kin;
  • encourages Canadian medical professionals, scientists, researchers and their professional organizations – as well as regulatory bodies – to continue their efforts to put an end to illegal and unethical transplantation practices;
  • calls on medical and scientific professional and regulatory bodies to name, shame and ostracize individuals, institutions and their affiliates involved in the forced harvesting and trafficking of human organs;
  • calls on the Government of Canada to consider ways to discourage and prevent Canadians from taking part in transplant tourism, where the organs have not been obtained in an ethical, safe and transparent fashion.”
 
Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Subcommittee on Thursday, April 10, 2014, the Subcommittee resumed its study of the Human Rights Situation in Iran.
 

It was agreed, — That the Subcommittee adopt the following statement:

“The Subcommittee on International Human Rights strongly condemns Iran’s execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari, following a flawed and unfair murder trial that violated international human rights standards. The death penalty was carried out despite serious procedural irregularities during the trial, including allegations that Ms. Jabbari’s confessions were obtained under duress and that the court failed to properly consider evidence in her defence. Throughout the proceedings, Ms. Jabbari maintained that she was acting in self-defence to protect herself from sexual assault. The Subcommittee extends its deepest condolences to Ms. Jabbari’s family.

The Subcommittee is concerned over the dramatic increase in executions carried out in Iran. The Subcommittee is also troubled by reports that Iran’s judicial system frequently disregards international fair trial guarantees. Moreover, the Subcommittee deplores the failure of the Iranian authorities to ensure that Iranian women are able to fully enjoy all of their human rights. The Subcommittee stresses that all Iranians must enjoy equal protection of the law, without discrimination.

The Subcommittee believes that due process and the rule of law are critical to ensuring human rights and dignity. Iran must take concrete action to comply with its international human rights obligations and for the voluntary human rights commitments that it has made. In particular, the Subcommittee calls on Iran to ensure that the death penalty is reserved for the most serious crimes, is never imposed for crimes committed by children under the age of 18 years, and is never again imposed arbitrarily.”

 

At 1:03 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 1:04 p.m., the sitting resumed in camera.

 
The Subcommittee proceeded to the consideration of matters related to Subcommittee business.
 

At 2:03 p.m., the Subcommittee adjourned to the call of the Chair.

 



Joann Garbig
Clerk of the Subcommittee

 
 
2014/11/28 11:27 a.m.
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