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Canada PM slams church amid call for probe into Indigenous deaths | US & Canada News



United Nations rights experts have called on Canada and the Catholic Church to carry out thorough investigations after the remains of Indigenous children were found at a former residential school, as the Canadian prime minister blasted the church for ignoring its past crimes.

A mass grave of 215 Indigenous children was discovered last month at Kamloops residential school in British Columbia, which operated between 1890 and 1978 under the auspices of the Catholic Church and later the Canadian government.

“We urge the authorities to conduct full-fledged investigations into the circumstances and responsibilities surrounding these deaths, including forensic examinations of the remains found, and to proceed to the identification and registration of the missing children,” nine UN human rights experts said in a statement on Friday.

They called on the Canadian government to conduct similar investigations into all of the country’s former residential schools, which were set up to forcibly assimilate Indigenous children.

According to the statement, criminal investigations should also be launched into all allegations of suspicious deaths, and claims of torture and sexual violence against children at the schools, they said.

Perpetrators and concealers who may still be alive should be prosecuted and sanctioned, the UN experts said, adding that it was “inconceivable” that Canada and the Vatican would leave such “heinous crimes” unaccounted for and without redress.

Trudeau blasts church

On Friday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged the Catholic Church to “take responsibility” and release records on Indigenous residential schools under its direction.

He warned that his government was prepared to take “stronger measures,” possibly including legal action, to obtain the documents demanded by victims’ families if the church failed to comply.

“As a Catholic, I am deeply disappointed by the position that the Catholic Church has taken now and over the past many years,” Trudeau told a news conference.

He recalled a May 2017 trip to the Vatican, during which he sought a formal apology from Pope Francis for abuses of students, as well as access to church records to help account for more than 4,100 students believed to have died from disease or malnutrition.

“We’re still seeing resistance from the church,” Trudeau said.

When asked if the government might compel disclosure, the prime minister responded: “I think, if it is necessary, we will take stronger measures.”

But he added: “Before we have to start taking the Catholic Church to court, I am very hopeful that religious leaders will understand that this is something they need to participate in.”

Danielle Morrison, a lawyer and member of the Anishinaabe Nation, told Al Jazeera that the Canadian government was expected to take action against the church at this point.

She said that there had been calls for decades to compel the Roman Catholic Church to release its archives, and identify and convict any living suspects who had committed crimes against Indigenous people.

“At this point, given the fact that the world is watching, they [the government] really don’t have a choice but to either take legal action or denounce the Catholic Church,” she added.

Canada has been convulsed by the discovery of the remains at the school, especially as there were only 50 deaths officially on record there.

The school was one of many boarding schools set up a century ago to forcibly assimilate the country’s Indigenous peoples.

Church should ‘step up’

Trudeau urged Canadian Catholics to “reach out (to their) local parishes, to bishops and cardinals, and make it clear that we expect the church to step up and take responsibility for its role in this and be there to help in the grieving and the healing, including with records.”

“It’s something a number of other churches … have done. It’s something we are all still waiting for the Catholic Church to do,” he said.

“We need to have truth before we can talk about justice, healing and reconciliation.”

Some 150,000 First Nations, Inuit and Metis children in total were enrolled in 139 of these residential schools across Canada, where students were physically and sexually abused by headmasters and teachers who stripped them of their culture and language.

Those experiences are blamed now for a high incidence of poverty, alcoholism and domestic violence, as well as high suicide rates, in Indigenous communities.

In Kamloops, Tk’emlups te Secwepemc chief Rosanne Casimir, who has enlisted the help of the British Columbia coroner to help identify students’ remains and causes of deaths, told reporters the tribe had never received any records from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate who ran the school.

“We do want an apology” from the church, she said, “a public apology, not just for us, but for the world … holding the church to account.”

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Eddie Mutwe, Nubian Li Released on Bail




The General Court Martial in Makindye has on Monday released on bail the remaining members of the National Unity Platform who have been on remand since December last year.

The released include Bobi Wine bodyguard Eddie Mutwe,Singer Nubian Li and Producer Dan Magic.

The released are facing charges related to possession of fire arms.

The group had made several attempts at bail but kept getting stonewalled by government prosecution, on different grounds.

In the last court sitting in which teh army court released 17 of the 35 NUP supporters, Chairman Gen Court Martial sent back Eddie Mutwe and his group on remand, on grounds that prosecution was still examining their affidavits.

The group was arrested on December 30th 2020 in Kalangala district, while on the campaign trail with their candidate Robert Kyagulanyi.

“All our comrades who were arrested last year from Kalangala have been released on bail. These have spent six months while under detention for no crime whatsoever. Thanks to our legal team and everyone who has worked tirelessly to ensure these comrades regain their freedom,” NUP said in a statement.

This story is being updated

The post Eddie Mutwe, Nubian Li Released on Bail first appeared on ChimpReports.

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Kanungu DHO Dr Sebudde Dies of Covid19




Dr Stephen Ssebudde the Kanungu District Health Officer has succumbed to COVID-19.

Dr Ssebudde passed away on Sunday evening at Entebbe hospital where he has been receiving treatment for Covid19 after he started feeling unwell early this week.

News of his death was confirmed by a family who told this reporter that Ssebudde died at around 6Pm after three days of admission in Entebbe Hospital.

“Kanungu District Health Officer Dr Ssebudde died at around 6pm today after 3 days of admission in Entebbe Hospital. As per family, RIP” message from a family member reads.

Hajji Shaffiq Ssekandi the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner who also heads the District COVID-19 taskforce described Ssebudde’s death as a big blow to the district health department since he has been working selflessly to ensure that all people in the community are equally served when it comes to health.

His death comes at a time when the country has already registered cumulative confirmed covid19 cases of 61,977 representing a test positivity rate of 18.7%.

The country has 884 Active cases on admission, 48,160 Cumulative recoveries, and 428 total deaths.

According to Ministerial statistics, 777,895 Persons have so far been vaccinated against COVID-19.

The post Kanungu DHO Dr Sebudde Dies of Covid19 first appeared on ChimpReports.

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Iran says it has broad agreement with the US on lifting sanctions | Boycott Divest and Sanctions News




The landmark accord has been delayed because there are some sticking points, but not an impasse, Iran said.

By Bloomberg

Iran said it has reached a broad agreement with the U.S. over the lifting of sanctions on its industrial sectors, including energy, but warned there was “very little time left” for world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, didn’t give more detail on the potential easing of trade restrictions, which have all but prevented the Islamic Republic from exporting oil and battered its economy. The landmark accord was being delayed because there are still sticking points, he told reporters in Tehran on Monday.

Oil markets are closely watching the negotiations, which are taking place in Vienna, for any clues as to when the OPEC member will be able to resume crude sales and how quickly Washington will allow it to ramp up production.

“Some minute technical, political, legal and practical issues remain,” Khatibzadeh said. “No task was impossible for negotiators” and there’s no impasse, he said.

Brent crude rose 1% to $73.43 a barrel at 8:50 a.m. in London, extending its gain this year to 42%. Traders have pushed back their estimates for Iran’s oil comeback as the talks drag on.

World powers are trying to revive the 2015 agreement that the U.S. abandoned three years ago. It restricted Tehran’s atomic activities in return for sanctions relief.

On Saturday, Iran’s lead envoy in Vienna, Abbas Araghchi, said a deal was unlikely before presidential elections in his country this Friday.

President Hassan Rouhani — who negotiated the original deal in 2015 — is due to leave office in August after serving two terms. He is widely expected to be replaced by Ebrahim Raisi, a cleric generally seen as hostile to engaging with the U.S.

Still, a government spokesman said last week that the decision to try to resuscitate the accord was made by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and won’t be affected by Rouhani’s departure.

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