On Tuesday a number of activists, several of them wearing black blindfolds around their eyes, held a demonstration on Parliament Hill in Ottawa demanding that Canada sign on to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT).
|OPCAT is an optional protocol added to the UN Convention Against Torture. OPCAT establishes an international inspection system for places of detention. The system is modeled on that used in the EU since 1987. OPCAT was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December of 2002 and entered into force as of June 2006. There are 75 signatories as of April 2016. Neither the United States, Russia, or China have signed the protocol.|
“Having expert UN investigators poke and prod in jails in those countries is an absolutely essential step in helping to end torture. Once Canada is on board, we can at long last push those other countries to follow suit.”Stephane Dione announced this week that Canada would sign on to OPCAT. Chantal Gagnon, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion, says the Trudeau government plans to make good on the commitment.