Hon. Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, this week I participated as a Canadian member of the parliamentary delegation in the annual parliamentary hearing at the United Nations.
In the session on political accountability, including that of the United Nations itself, I called upon the UN Security Council to invoke its responsibility to protect doctrine to protect against murder, brutality and torture, including the torture of children and hospital patients, forced disappearances and the like in Syria. I called on it to heed the calls of the Arab League for the protection of Syrian civilians, which the Syrian government responded to with more murder and which has since been sanctioned by the Arab League.
In the second session on youth participation, particularly in the Arab Spring, I called upon the United Nations to help secure the immediate release of a young Egyptian blogger, Maikel Nabil, one of the early voices of the Egyptian Arab Spring, who then became the first political prisoner in the post-Mubarak era. Today as we meet, he languishes in prison on the 102nd day of a hunger strike for seeking to do that which the Arab Spring was hoping for. He has emerged as a symbol of the hope yet betrayal of the Arab Spring.