February 19, 2000 Faxed to: (613) 996-3443
Hon. Lloyd Axworthy
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons
During the past week, several prominent Canadian newspapers have published accounts of wholesale executions of Chechen civilians in the war-ravaged independent country of Chechnya. These reports are supported by international human rights groups, news services and researchers such as Human Rights Watch, Memorial, Agence France-Presse and Peter Bouckaert.
According to these sources, the Russians are operating "filtration camps" where Chechen civilians are routinely tortured, abused and executed. Detailed reports of the barbaric mistreatment of innocent human beings are enough to make even the most truth-resistent politician take notice -- you would think.
We have a few questions for you, which we expect an answer for immediately:
1. Is this the same Russian army whose government Canada is supporting by massive foreign aid?
2. Does such Canadian support of perpetrators of crimes against humanity not make you, sir, and your government accomplices -- or, as Ms. McLellan prefers to call such people, "collaborators" -- in these monstrous crimes?
3. How many more non-combatants, seniors, women and children does the Russian military have to kill, before you are satisfied that Canadian foreign policy objectives are met?
4. Do you not see a peculiar irony in Canada prosecuting "war criminals" from KGB supplied "events" 55 years ago (without the use of criminal proceedings), when there are obvious signs of war criminality in your government's support of Russian war criminals and crimes against humanity?
5. When are you going to become honest and admit the folly of supporting these unrepentant Russian criminals? Be assured that our general membership regards your government's continued support of Russia's cold-blooded crimes as most repulsive and unacceptable. We await your immediate response.
Eugene Harasymiw, LL.B.
National President, USRLC
Peter Goldring, MP, Edmonton East