Ahmadinejad for inciting
[PoliticsWatch updated 1:15 p.m., March 6, 2007]
genocide: B'nai Brith
|Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
OTTAWA — Canada
has been asked to take the lead in the international charge to
have Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad indicted for inciting
The Jewish human rights group B'nai Brith Canada held a
press conference on Parliament Hill Tuesday to announce they have
prepared a formal
indictment in case the government wants to take action.
The indictment on charges of "incitement to genocide" against Jewish
people was drafted by David Matis, a lawyer for B'nai Brith
"B'nai Brith Canada asks the Government of Canada to invoke a
number of remedies for the crime of incitement to genocide against
the Jewish people committed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of
Iran," B'nai Brith said in a forward to its indictment.
"Canada must act now against the threat to genocide of Mahmoud
The group wants Canada to: announce it will ban the entry of
Ahmadinejad into Canada under threat of prosecuting him for
incitement to genocide if he were to enter Canada; request the
United Nations Security Council refer the matter to the
International Criminal Court for prosecution; and request the
International Court of Justice find Iran in violation of the
Since being elected in August 2005, the controversial Iranian
president, who is currently involved in a standoff with the
international community over his country's nuclear program, has made
numerous comments casting doubt on the Holocaust and calling it a
In October 2005, Ahmadinejad told a Tehran conference called The
World Without Zionism that "Israel must be wiped off the map."
And last year Iran hosted an international art exhibit of
cartoons satirizing the Holocaust.
Despite international condemnation of the Iranian president's
comments, there have been no formal charges laid against him.
When asked why Canada and not Israel should bring this forward,
Matas said the issue is important to the international
"To leave it to Israel alone to me mischaracterizes the nature of the crime,
which is not just a crime against Israel or just a crime against the Jewish people but a crime against all
humanity," he said.
B'nai Brith presented the indictment to officials at the Department
of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday. Matas said the indictment was drafted
because his organization had approached the department earlier but
they had raised questions as to whether such an action was legally
In January, the Jerusalem Post reported the
Israeli foreign ministry was reluctant to take on Ahmadinejad alone
and had been reaching out to the international community. Israel is not a signatory to the International Criminal Court
, plus the court has ruled against Israel over its West Bank
Other countries have recently been approached by Israeli officials
to take action. Earlier this year former Israeli prime minister Benjamin
Netanyahu made overtures to the UK to take similar
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler has been among those leading the charge
internationally to have Ahmadinejad indicted and had made
recommendations similar to those B'nai Brith brought forward in a
newspaper opinion piece last fall.
In an interview with PoliticsWatch, Cotler said that as a party to
the genocide convention and the ICC, Canada has a responsibility to
enforce the convention and the treaty.
"Where there is a blatant violation of those treaties then
Canada as a state party can take appropriate action under those
treaties," he said. "At the very least, they should refer
this matter to the UN Security Council to hold Ahmadinejad
Cotler said he's not sure whether foreign affairs has taken a
"careful and serious look" at the issue.
"I think if they will they will find that there is a basis for
finding that Ahmadinejad is engaged in the direct and public
incitement of genocide and if that is the case on the facts then
there is a basis in law for preparing an indictment against
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