Canada Border Services Agency | May 04, 2004 | News Release

Canada's war crimes program continues progress

Ottawa, May 4, 2004... Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Anne McLellan and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Irwin Cotler today released the Sixth Annual Report on Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes. The report details the progress of Canada's War Crimes Program from April 1, 2002, to March 31, 2003, in bringing to justice war criminals and those who have committed crimes against humanity.

"Our combined efforts in managing Canada's War Crimes Program sends a very clear and strong message that war criminals and those involved in crimes against humanity will never be welcome in Canada," said Minister McLellan.

"Canada has a reputation world-wide for being a leader in ensuring that there is no safe haven for individuals involved in crimes against humanity or war crimes, regardless of when or where these crimes took place," said Minister Cotler. "We want to take a leadership role in engaging the international community to work even more closely with us to bring the perpetrators to justice."

Canada continues to work closely with its international partners to apprehend individuals who have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and prevent them from entering Canada. In fiscal year 2002-2003, the provisions in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) were successfully applied to prevent 355 people from reaching Canada, to ensure that 73 people did not get protection which is accorded to genuine refugees, and to remove 48 people from Canada.

The War Crimes Program also examines allegations and commences investigations into possible criminal prosecutions under the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act. This allows Canada to apply a comprehensive set of remedies to deal with war criminals - from prosecution, to extradition, to deportation. This model is regarded around the world as an example of innovative interdepartmental co-operation that has contributed to and significantly influenced the development of the global response to deal with crimes against humanity.

Since its renewal in 1998, the Canadian War Crimes Program has supported the work of many international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and the hybrid Special Court for Sierra Leone.

To further the work of bringing war criminals to justice, the War Crimes Program will continue to engage other countries in sharing information and best practices as well as aiding in the restoration of justice in failed states. This will include providing technical assistance to countries rebuilding or reforming their capacity to deal with post-conflict justice. The Program will also increase its efforts domestically to ensure that the perpetrators of these atrocities are denied entry to Canada and for those who are in Canada are brought to justice. Currently, government officials are dealing with 86 modern war crimes allegations that merit investigation with a view to criminal prosecution and it is expected that several WWII investigations will also be completed this year. The Program will also launch a Web site in order to provide information and raise awareness about the government's activities in dealing with war criminals.

Canada's War Crimes Program is a joint initiative of the Department of Justice Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) that supports Canada's efforts in denying safe haven to war criminals and perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

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Denise Rudnicki
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Justice
(613) 992-4621

Media Relations
Department of Justice
(613) 957-4207

Alex Swann Office of the Deputy Prime Minister
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
613) 991-2863

Am´┐Żlie Morin
Media Relations
Canada Border Services Agency
(613) 948-5977

Backgrounder: Annual War Crimes Report 2002-2003
http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/news/fc/2004/doc_31174.html
The sixth annual report of the War Crimes Program
http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/dept/pub/cca/report0203/index.html