moved for leave to introduce Bill C-242, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (inflicting torture).
Mr. Speaker, today I rise to table my private member's bill, an act to amend the Criminal Code, inflicting torture.
Article 5 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states, “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.The UN Convention Against Torture, which Canada ratified in 1987, is in place for this very purpose. However, the Canadian Criminal Code falls short of addressing this major issue.
While a torture offence exists in the code under section 269.1, it only addresses acts perpetrated by state officials. When private individuals, acting outside of state authority, carry out equivalent acts that amount to torture, they are normally charged with aggravated assault. This does not properly reflect the human rights abuses that have been committed.
Private acts of torture have occurred in Canada and remain an issue in need of attention. These acts far exceed the offence of aggravated assault. This bill attempts to rectify the issue.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)