Canada, free and democratic? With a fair judicial system for all her citizens, right?
Why was Saad Gaya, a young Canadian man who has been accused – but not convicted – of terrorism, kept in solitary confinement at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex for 23 1/2 hours a day for a whole year awaiting trial? Was that necessary? Was it reasonable?
well was it? Is this Syria? Is this Guantanamo? Nope this is Canada, what the heck is going on?
Is this how all prisoners are treated? I mean this was not even a convicted criminal, this was someone awaiting trial, innocent until proven guilty? Or guilty by ethnicity?
And what about the horror story told by another of the Toronto 18, a juvenile who has had the charges against him stayed? The youth, whose identity is protected by law, told his family a tale of psychological and physical abuse that calls to mind the intimidating treatment meted out to prisoners by American military jailers at the Guantanamo Bay detention centre for suspected terrorists.
Like others in the Toronto 18, the youth was kept in solitary for almost three months until his release on bail. When he told jailers he was cold or thirsty they told him he wasn't in a hotel, a member of his family reports. For two days, his cell had no pillow, blanket, water or toilet paper. And he says the guards pushed him to the ground, handcuffed and shackled him, and make him crawl along the floor.
I must say, I was stunned to read this, just stunned, this juvenile was not even found guilty of anything, as the charges were stayed. That means dropped.
Perhaps I have been naive about the judicial system in Canada, perhaps I had thought Canada was more civil, more decent, more democratic, apparently I was only fooling myself.