February 7, 2005 -
Canadian Down Syndrome Society horrified
by murder of young man with Down syndrome
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) is deeply appalled at
the use of a person with Down syndrome as a suicide bomber during
the recent Iraq elections. Amar Ahmed Mohammed, a 19-year-old man
with Down syndrome was murdered on January 30, 2005. According to
Iraq's interior minister quoted in the Associated Press, insurgents
against the Iraq election strapped explosives to the young man's
chest and directed him to walk towards a polling booth. Apparently
Mr. Mohammed triggered the bomb before he reached the intended target
killing only himself. It appears his selection was opportunistic,
and that this young man was a victim of abuse, apparently due to
his intellectual difference.
This tragic international matter received very little coverage
by Canadian news media.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Pierre Pettigrew has publicly
congratulated Iraq on the fact of their free elections. In the CDSS
we believe it would be important for him to also publicly acknowledge
the price paid by some such as this young man, to achieve this result.
The fact that the Department of Foreign Affairs and International
Trade, publish that they "develop and implement strategies
to promote the Government of Canada's agenda abroad: global peace
and security, prosperity and employment for Canadians. We also work
to better worldwide understanding of Canada, our values, our culture
and our capabilities." .. reinforces and highlights the need
for such a public comment by our Federal Minster NOW.
In the view of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, the government
of Canada must take a stance on this callous event and make this
stance a public notification. If we do not clearly express our disgust
and intolerance for these actions to the international community,
we are not doing what we can to prevent this type of act from happening
Further details of the tragedy can be found at the
link to the
Washington Post coverage from January 31 of this story.
The CDSS has formally requested the involvement and voice of the
Canadian Government in this matter on an immediate basis.
For additional comments, please contact Elizabeth Dolman, Executive
Director, Canadian Down Syndrome Society at 1-800-883-5608. Additional
information about the CDSS is available at www.cdss.ca
here to view our Sources Listing
News Release page - The
Sources Calendar -
Search Sources Listings
Parliamentary Names & Numbers
to Post Your Press Releases
Search the Sources directory to find
experts and spokespersons