Dear Minister Kenney,
The Open Letter that you wrote on 9 August and posted on your personal website, in response to the Open Letter we wrote and sent to you and Minister Toews on 2 August, has been brought to our attention by journalists. We are writing to respond and clarify to some of the points you raise.
You begin by chastising Amnesty International for raising these concerns when we should instead be focusing on human rights concerns in countries like Iran and North Korea. Minister, we most certainly do. A casual review of our most recent reports, actions and news releases covers such countries as Iran, Syria, Bahrain, China, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Georgia, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. We do regularly point to areas where we believe Canada’s own human rights laws, policy and practice are in need of reform. Universal human rights principles apply as equally to Canada as they do to other countries. Furthermore, the stronger Canada’s domestic human rights record is; the greater our leadership on the world stage.