This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Entitlements Under the Canadian Constitution

"Dr. Mojab's evidence was overwhelmingly prejudicial and should not have been admitted."
"Her evidence invited the jury to improperly find that the Appellants had a disposition to commit family homicide as a result of their cultural background and to reject their claims that they held a different set of cultural beliefs."
"[The evidence at trial] created enormous prejudice], inviting jurors to rely on cultural stereotyping."
"By reinforcing pre-existing stereotypes of violent and primitive Muslims, it created the risk that the jury's verdict would be tainted by cultural prejudice."
From 110-page document filed with the Ontario Court of Appeal

Lawyers for Mohammed Shafia, wife Tooba and son Hamed have filed a claim that their clients deserve a retrial. The lawyers contend that the original trial judge was guilty of errors of "misdirection and non-direction. All three were singly convicted in January of 2012 of four counts of first-degree murder. They had deliberated together to plan the deaths of three daughters of the Shafia family, and the pluralist-second wife of Mohammed.

Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, Geeti, 13 and the woman who acted as their foster-mother toward them, the first wife of Mohammed, Rona Amir, 52, were murdered by the other three family members for the cultural crime of disobedience in a fundamentalist patriarchy. The three teen-age girls rebelled against the kind of modesty in dress and behaviour their father insisted upon, and their protector, Rona Amir who wanted a divorce, was similarly rebellious, assaulting the family honour.

The Crown called upon University of Toronto professor Shahrzad Mojab to testify on the origins of honour killings. And she delivered an academic view of same.  Shafia and Tooba Mohammed denied at trial that they were guilty of murder, Tooba repudiating a statement she had made placing her at the murder scene. The jury had no difficulty in finding the three members of the Mohammed family who conspired to murder four others of their family guilty of cultural honour-killing.

But they are cleverly, with the help of their lawyers, using the ample financial resource they spirited out of Afghanistan, to use Canadian law to plead their constitutional rights have been violated. And they are not the only ones. Entitlements to special consideration range from the viciously murderous to the casually arrogant, with a Muslim woman from Pakistan claiming it is her right under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to hold Canada in contempt by hiding her face under a niqab during a citizenship ceremony.

Now, back to the viciously murderous, with those convicted for taking part in terrorist conspiracies claiming that the government move to strip them of Canadian citizenship violates constitutional guarantees to which they are entitled. Including the right to vote. Yet another challenger against the revocation of citizenship from one convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage, holding dual nationality, has emerged.
A sketch of Hiva Alizadeh
Jordana Globerman / Ottawa Citizen  A sketch of Hiva Alizadeh

Hiva Alizadeh has applied to the Federal Court of Canada, claiming the principles of fundamental justice enshrined in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are being breached, and he is being victimized by a vindictive government. Revoking his citizenship furthermore, improperly denies him voting rights, and also prevents his free movement in and out of Canada. Clearly a disgraceful way to treat a Canadian.

Particularly one sentenced to 24 years in prison after the Iranian-born man's guilty plea to possessing explosives with intent to do harm. Terrorist literature, videos and manuals were seized by police, as well as dozens of electronic circuit boards designed to remotely detonate homemade bombs. "Mr. Alizadeh agreed to accept the Crown's offer for 24 years, which is no small sentence. And now they seem to be piling on with this [revocation of citizenship], and it doesn't seem very fair", moaned the man through his lawyer.

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