CFUW Supports Private Member’s Bill to End Non-State Torture
On February 26 London MP Peter Fragiskatos introduced Bill C-242, a Private Member’s Bill to amend the Criminal Code of Canada (inflicting torture). CFUW Members have been active on this issue since 2011, and have been working with Mr. Fragiskatos to ensure this bill passes. The present legislation on torture (CC 269.1) only recognizes torture inflicted by a state official or someone acting with the consent and acquiescence of such an official. Acts of torture carried out by private individuals are not punishable under this section of the Criminal Code, and are instead considered aggravated assault – a crime that carries a maximum sentence of just 14 years. With this addition, the Criminal Code would adequately recognize both the ordeals of the victims and the crimes of the perpetrators. CFUW has actively supported the addition of non-state torture to the Criminal Code since 2011, and two CFUW members, Jeanne Sarson and Linda MacDonald, have advocated tirelessly for its formation. CFUW National worked with Mr. Fragiskatos’ team and sent a letter of support and will continue to follow its development.