Ethnic Canadian leaders frustrated by continued presence of war criminals in Canada



    OTTAWA, Jan. 30 /CNW/ - A number of Canadian ethnic communities whose
recent histories are marred by the horrors of genocide came together to decry
Canada's continued role as a haven for those who have committed crimes against
humanity, drawing particular attention to the cases of six men still living in
this country although found to have acted as Nazi enablers by Canadian courts.
    "The need for urgency on the part of the government of Canada is nowhere
clearer than in the case of Helmut Oberlander," said Canadian Jewish Congress
chief executive officer Bernie M. Farber. "Here you have an individual who was
a translator for a mobile killing unit responsible for the murder of thousands
of Jews. He has lived in this country for more than 50 years. His continued
residency in Canada is shameful."
    "Oberlander is one of six cases that require only political will to be
resolved. Labour camp guards like Wasyl Odynsksy, Jura Skomatchuk and Josef
Furman were cogs in the machinery of genocide," said Leo Adler, director of
national affairs for the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust
Studies. "They, along with collaborators like Jacob Fast and Vladimir Katriuk,
lied to gain entry to Canada. They dishonour the privilege of Canadian
citizenship."
    Joined by representatives of the Armenian, Darfur, Roma and Rwandan
communities - representing those who have been the victims of genocide - the
group called upon the Federal government to act swiftly while there is still
time.
    "Justice, seen to be done, remains a critical deterrent. Those who commit
or participate in the atrocity of genocide do so because on some level they
believe that their actions will bear no consequence," said Jean-Paul
Nyilinkwaya, director of media and public relations for PAGE- Rwanda. "If the
whole world was to unite and seek justice against all perpetrators of crimes
against humanity from the past, we believe the current tyrants would
reconsider their plans."
    "It is so sad," said Bakri Abdalla, executive member of the Darfur
Association of Canada. "When humanity first spoke the phrase 'never again',
there was a hope that the words had meaning. Yet, since the Holocaust,
genocide continues to happen - on our watch. How can we protect the future if
we have not paid the debt of the past?"





For further information:

For further information: David Eisenstadt/Beth Merrick, Friends of Simon
Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies, 1-800-267-4476 ext. 36/40,
deisenstadt@tcgpr.com, bmerrick@tcgpr.com; Len Rudner, National Director of
Community Relations, Canadian Jewish Congress, (416) 631-5712 (office), (416)
666-1761 (cell), lrudner@on.cjc.ca

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FRIENDS OF SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER FOR HOLOCAUST STUDIES

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CANADIAN JEWISH CONGRESS

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