March 18, 2007

Mar. 18, 2007: Afghan Prisoner, Allegations, Attaran Complaint

Security, Afghanistan, Amir Attaran, Justices


When the Globe and Mail reports and quotes someone, particularly anyone connected to a university, a foundation, an agency or similar publicly funded group, or "experts", check into their backgrounds. Often why we should pay attention to those quoted is omitted; sometimes, I check backgrounds to see whether they have their own agenda, are connected to a political philosophy or some cause. Usually, I am not disappointed. I noted that Mr. Attaran (see below) came from Harvard (as did Michael Ignatieff) and his interests seem to be AIDS, money for AIDS drugs (to be administered by the UN?) and sub-Saharan Africa, coincidentally, an interest of Paul Martin's if you recall.

How far should Canada go to ensure fair treatment of Afghani detainees? , Kady O'Malley, | Mar 06, 2007

OTTAWA - It was, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor insisted, completely unrelated to allegations of prisoner abuse. But in light of how things had played out in the month previous, it was hard to see last week's news that Canada had become the first NATO ally to sign an agreement with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) to monitor transferred detainees as a coincidence.

While sold by O'Connor has an "extra layer of protection" that complement an agreement with the International Red Cross that the minister repeatedly assured the House was already in place, the new arrangement seems a little more important than that - especially now that thel Red Cross has publicly contradicted O'Connor's description of how much it's been doing to date. [....]

Search: a complaint filed with the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC) by Amir Attaran. The University of Ottawa professor , In Kabul, prisoner Abdul Rahman alleged , Amnesty International Canada secretary general Alex Neve , AIHRC, which monitors prisons and detention centres , In Kabul, prisoner Abdul Rahman alleged that local authorities beat him with rubber hoses and wood batons

And Rahman's word would be beyond reproach? From a Lib/lib/left perspective, some people believe the word of these prisoners; yet they are trained to lie, to claim torture and racism.

Check a little further into the University of Ottawa's Mr. Attaran and other activists, experts or spokesmen for the poor prisoners.

Amir Attaran -- or here

Defining and refining international donor support for combating the AIDS pandemic.
* Attaran A
* Sachs J.

Center for International Development, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.

The international aid effort against AIDS is greatly incommensurate with the severity of the epidemic. Drawing on the data that international aid donors self-reported to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), we find that, between 1996 and 1998, finance from all rich countries to sub-Saharan Africa for projects designated as AIDS control ...

Is there any reason Mr. Attaran would be negative about the military in Afghanistan or wish the Conservative government to be gone and then things could return to normal?

Dr. Amir Attaran, lawyer and immunologist, writes on public health and global development issues.

Attaran is a frequent critic of the unaccountability and poor performance of what he has called the "foreign aid industrial complex", and organizations such as USAID, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, and although his work with [Jeffrey] Sachs [director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University] inspired it, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

[....] Dr. Attaran has been a paid consultant to NGOs (e.g. Doctors Without Borders), the United Nations (e.g. the UNDP), the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. Novartis), and an unpaid consultant when requested by various developing country governments (e.g. Brazil, Malawi) and human rights groups (e.g. Amnesty International).

He is currently Associate Professor of Law and Population Health, and the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Previously he was an adjunct lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University, publishing research as part of the Center for International Development and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Search: human rights and development

Dow Jones International: DAVOS: AIDS Activists Laud Pharmacia Plan For Generic Mfg -- More on Amir Attaran , 24 January, 2003

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP)--AIDS activists Friday praised the plan of Pharmacia Corp. (PHA) to work with a nonprofit agency to allow the manufacture of cheap copies of its AIDS drug for marketing in poor countries.

[....] even if the drug on offer isn't in great demand.

They stressed that without billions more in aid from the West, the world's hardest-hit countries wouldn't be able to afford even the cheap, generic copies.

"This is half of what's needed," said Dr. Amir Attaran of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, who helped develop the model. "This helps solve the supply side, but there's no demand because these countries are deadly poor."

Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development ...

Mr. Attaran -- ATTARAN, Amir ... Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy, Associate Professor, Biotech, Comparative Law, Environmental Law, Globalization, Health Law and Policy, Human Rights, International Human Rights Law, Law and Society, International Development

"Attaran is best known in the HIV community for co-authoring an updated version of Lee Gillespie-White's earlier paper on patents in Africa. .... 172 patents on ARV products in Africa are not a barrier to treatment"

Amir Attaran: Attaran is currently an Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy for the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, but his main job has been to work for Jeffrey Sachs [....]

Amir Attaran Says New Study Shows that Patents Are Not The Obstacle to HIV Treatment in Africa. PhRMA's page on patent on AIDS drugs provides typical spin for the article.

The basic thrust of the Attaran/Gillespie-White JAMA paper is that 172 patents on ARV products in Africa are not a barrier to treatment. [....]

What were the plans?

On the way to finding more on the man who would speak out on Canada, prisoners, and Afghanistan, Amir Attaran of Ottawa University, I found more Ottawa University graduates.

Common Law Bulletin, Summer 2005 -- Paul Martin's gift to the SCOC
The Honourable Justices Bastarache & Charron: Our Pride
Common Law Graduates on the Supreme Court of Canada

My heart fills with pride when I see the present composition of the highest court in the country. Indeed, currently on the bench of the Supreme Court of Canada are two Common Law graduates from our Faculty of Law. These are, of course, the Honourable Mr. Justice Michel Bastarache (’78) and the Honourable Madam Justice Louise Charron (’75).

Two Supremes from the University of Ottawa? I am tempted to say of such coincidence: Of all the gin joints in all the world* ... and I'm afraid I have given in to temptation. [* coincidence]

Justice and Justices

Provinces regain power to force public inquiries into conduct of judges , Janice Tibbetts, CanWest, March 14, 2007

Judges have lost a showdown with politicians in a court ruling that reinstates a special power allowing provincial attorneys general to force public inquiries into judicial conduct that can lead to removal from the bench. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled against Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Cosgrove, a former federal Liberal Cabinet minister .... decision to clear a Barbadian woman of first-degree murder. .... independence of the judiciary .... "Judicial independence does not require that the conduct of judges be immune from scrutiny," Justice Karen Sharlow wrote in a unanimous ruling.

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