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July 23, 2008
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Harper:

I am writing on behalf of the 570,000 members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). We strongly encourage you to intervene in the case of Omar Khadr. The continued detention of this young man in the Guantanamo Bay prison is an affront to Canada’s record of support for human rights and due process. There is compelling evidence that Omar Khadr has been subjected to torture and been denied the fundamental rights of a fairly administered justice system. With many courts, including in the United States and Canada, ruling that Guantanamo Bay violates human rights embedded in constitutional law it is the responsibility of a democratic government to take a stand. Indeed, both the Democratic and Republican candidates for the American presidency have pledged to shut it down.

At CUPE, we believe that it is our government’s responsibility to protect all Canadian citizens, not just some. The rights of this particular Canadian citizen are clearly being violated and without appropriate intervention and action our government is complicit. It is hard to imagine how any Canadian citizen can feel secure in human rights protection if it is not granted by rights to all citizens. A dangerous precedent is set when the rights of one of our citizens are violated with impunity.

CUPE stands with the many other organizations and individuals including the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International, and the Canadian Arab Foundation who are calling on you to act responsibly, ethically and with due respect for the rules of law to bring Omar Khadr back to Canada for fair treatment and justice. I urge you to take a stand and act swiftly.

Yours sincerely,

National President
*dr cope 491