The Honourable Stockwell Day,
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Fax: (613) 995-1154

Dear Minister,

Amnesty International urges your government to adopt a policy of fully complying with requests from the UN Committee Against Torture and the UN Human Rights Committee to stay a removal while an individual complaint is being examined.  We are aware that such a request has recently been made to the Canadian government by the Committee Against Torture with respect to the complaint of Mr Bachan Singh Sogi and we ask that you ensure that his removal be delayed pending the Committee’s examination of the complaint.

Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the Canadian government has decided to proceed with Mr. Singh’s deportation to India despite this request from the UN Committee.

Amnesty International has frequently highlighted how important it is that Canada comply with and implement recommendations and requests made by expert UN human rights bodies, such as the UN Committee against Torture.  Canada rightly and importantly expects other governments to do so.  The integrity and effectiveness of the international human rights system very much depends on governments complying and cooperating with UN human rights institutions and experts.  When states disregard their obligations and fail to adhere to the requests and recommendations of the treaty-based expert bodies, the system is undermined and its ability to uphold and defend human rights is significantly weakened.  Canada’s authority and credibility with other governments is inevitably undermined when, in a case such as this, Canada itself chooses to disregard UN recommendations. 

The UN human rights system has recently undergone important and unprecedented reforms.  As a member of the new Human Right Council, Canada must continue to be a leading and principled champion of measures to substantially strengthen the system.  This is a particularly disappointing time, therefore, for Canada to take action which conveys a contrary message; one which reinforces the longstanding and deeply entrenched practice of the numerous governments which consistently flout UN advice and pick and choose when they will conform to international legal obligations.  That cannot be Canada’s approach.

Amnesty International requests that the Canadian government respect the request for interim measures made by the Human Rights Committee. Rule 86 of the Human Rights Committee’s Rules of Procedure provide that interim measures might be desirable in an individual case to avoid irreparable damage to the victim of the alleged violation. As a state party to the ICCPR and its Optional Protocol, Canada should refrain from taking actions which could undermine the Human Rights Committee’s authority and the international human rights treaty monitoring system as a whole.

Minister, please intervene to halt Mr. Singh’s deportation to India.  Doing so will ensure his safety, and will convey a strong message to the international community that Canada is fully supportive of the UN human rights system.


Alex Neve
Secretary General
Amnesty International Canada (English speaking)

Béatrice Vaugrante

Directrice Générale

Amnistie internationale 

Canada francophone