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431-00022 (Foreign affairs)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the House of Commons

We, the undersigned, citizens and residents of Canada, call on the House of Commons and the Government of Canada to engage to the following:

THAT, Iraq has been in a period of intense internal conflict due to deep-rooted corruption and political ineffectiveness. The Iraqi population has taken to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand basic human rights and access to necessities guaranteed to them by their Constitution. Iraqi Government Security Forces and other unknown third parties have responded to the peaceful demands with extreme violence and alarming disregard to human rights and dignity. The violence and lack of security has led to 320 deaths and more than 15,000 civilians injured.

Therefore we, the undersigned, call on the House to urge the Canadian government to engage with the Iraqi government to promote pluralism and national unity within Iraq.

To impose Magnitsky sanctions on Iraqi members of Parliament, government officials, Army officers, and militia leaders who have committed human rights violations or have directed state resources to themselves or their relatives at the expense of the populace.

Response by the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne

The Government of Canada has expressed its concerns directly to the Government of Iraq stressing the importance of respecting human rights, including the freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and of the press, and addressing the legitimate demands of the protesters. During the last Universal Periodic Review of Iraq by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on November 11, 2019, Canada recommended that the Government of Iraq (a) cease and thoroughly investigate the use of excessive force by security forces and any other armed actors during the recent protests, including the killing of protestors, and ensure perpetrators are held accountable, and (b) ensure the rights of freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and freedom of peaceful assembly are fully respected and protected, both on and offline.

Canada supports Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Canadian officials have consistently met with Iraqi members of Parliament, ministers, governors and government officials to stress the importance of pluralism, respect for diversity and equality of all citizens.

Regulations enacted under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act allow the Government of Canada to target individuals who are, in the opinion of the Governor-in-Council, responsible for, or complicit in, gross violations of internationally recognized human rights or acts of significant corruption. The Government of Canada takes the matter of listing individuals under the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act very seriously. Canada has established a rigorous due diligence process to consider and evaluate possible cases of human rights violations or corruption anywhere in the world, within the context of other ongoing efforts to promote human rights and combat corruption. Canada tailors its responses to the specifics of each unique situation and is judicious in its approach regarding when it chooses to deploy sanctions and/or draw on other courses of action in its diplomatic tool kit. As a matter of practice, the Government of Canada does not publicly announce new sanctions listings until the regulations come into force in order to prevent asset flight.

The Government of Canada will continue to monitor closely developments on the ground as events unfold, call for the cessation of excessive and lethal force against protesters, engage with the Government of Iraq on the situation, and collaborate with allies and partners, including the UN, to play a constructive role in responding to the situation.

Presented to the House of Commons
Garnett Genuis (Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan)
December 11, 2019 (Petition No. 431-00022)
Government response tabled
January 22, 2020
Photo - Garnett Genuis
Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan
Conservative Caucus

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.

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