A nine-year-old Canadian child suffering from asthma is being held in a secure detention centre in Texas, under appalling conditions. Neither he nor his Iranian parents have been charged with anything at all. They were travelling to Canada, but had to make an emergency stop in Puerto Rico: US officials swept up the whole family and packed them off to jail. (This is starting to sound like a broken record, isn't it?)
If you follow the links, you will see that the father applied for refugee status ten years ago, under Canada's Old Government [tm]. He was sent back to Iran to be tortured, with his spouse and his infant child. (One wonders just how many more of these stories are waiting to be uncovered. The notion that we don't deport people if they are likely to face torture at the other end appears to be a polite fiction, to put it mildly).
Perhaps Canada's New Government [tm] isn't interested in getting a young teenager out of Gitmo. But when the US starts jailing asthmatic nine-year-olds, won't a simple sense of decency move us to act?
We need to get a blogburst going on this one, folks. Send a politely-worded note to Peter MacKay, our Minister of Foreign Affairs. Remind him of Principle Two of the UN Declaration of the Rights of the Child:
The child shall enjoy special protection, and shall be given opportunities and facilities, by law and by other means, to enable him to develop physically, mentally, morally, spiritually and socially in a healthy and normal manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity. In the enactment of laws for this purpose, the best interests of the child shall be the paramount consideration.
Jailing sick children--jailing any children at all--is barbaric. Let's stand up together against this child abuse in the name of "national security." And let's demand that our government do the same.
UPDATE: (March 12) Annamarie of verbena-19, take a bow. Take another one. And everyone who followed up on this, and wrote, and did all those things that people who give a damn do, take one too. Kevin is coming home. h/t this time to Hope and Onions, and I'm not even a cat-lover. :)