"PRACTICAL WORLD" - 'TRUE NEWS' MAGAZINE.

"PRACTICAL WORLD" - 'TRUE NEWS' MAGAZINE.
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Police Abuses - Quebec native women's claims of abuse at hands of police shock politicians, activists

Quebec native women's claims of abuse at hands of police shock politicians, activists.

Politicians and First Nations activists in Quebec say they are shocked and
are demanding a widespread investigation following allegations that provincial
police abused and sexually assaulted aboriginal women in Val-d'Or.

"I think we must all, not only deplore, but strongly condemn these acts if
they are indeed corroborated by the investigation," said Quebec Premier Philippe
Couillard.

"There is no tolerance in our society for any act of oppression of any kind
— particularly not from people who hold positions of power and especially not
toward segments of the population that are already in vulnerable positions due
to their status — their aboriginal women's status in particular."

Couillard made the comments in the National Assembly Thursday, one day after
the allegations were made public in a report from Radio-Canada's investigative
program Enquête.

This woman, who asked not to be identified, shows a head
wound she said was sustained in an altercation with a police officer who she
said threw her out of his car after she refused to perform a sex act.
(Radio-Canada)
The report uncovered stories of sexual violence toward aboriginal women in
the Quebec community of Val-d'Or. With a population of about 32,000, the town is
situated about 500 kilometres northwest of Montreal. It is located close to
several Algonquin communities.

Speaking publicly for the first time, alleged victims told Enquête
about a pattern involving provincial police over a period of at least two
decades.

They say officers routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated,
drove them out of town and left them to walk home in the cold. Some allege they
were physically assaulted or made to perform sex acts.

"A police officer is in a position of authority. It's unacceptable to abuse
his position and his power to sexually assault women … especially when women are
in vulnerable situations," said Lise Thériault, Quebec's public security
minister, in the National Assembly.

Stéphanie Vallée, Quebec's justice minister and minister responsible for the
status of women, agreed.

"If these allegations are proven, I find it completely unacceptable,
regardless of the person, the victim, the victim's past — whether the victim is
a drug addict, a prostitute. Women, individuals, have a right to have their
integrity respected."

Thériault said Thursday that Sûreté du Québec officers visited Val-d'Or three
times recently to speak to the alleged victims.

Provincial police have confirmed that they are investigating 14 complaints of
abuse of power and assault involving eight officers. The officers remain on the
job. There are no charges at this time.

 This woman, who asked not to be identified, shows a head
wound she said was sustained in an altercation with a police officer who she
said threw her out of his car after she refused to perform a sex act.
(Radio-Canada)

The report uncovered stories of sexual violence toward aboriginal women in
the Quebec community of Val-d'Or. With a population of about 32,000, the town is
situated about 500 kilometres northwest of Montreal. It is located close to
several Algonquin communities.

Speaking publicly for the first time, alleged victims told Enquête
about a pattern involving provincial police over a period of at least two
decades.

They say officers routinely picked up women who appeared to be intoxicated,
drove them out of town and left them to walk home in the cold. Some allege they
were physically assaulted or made to perform sex acts.

"A police officer is in a position of authority. It's unacceptable to abuse
his position and his power to sexually assault women … especially when women are
in vulnerable situations," said Lise Thériault, Quebec's public security
minister, in the National Assembly.

Stéphanie Vallée, Quebec's justice minister and minister responsible for the
status of women, agreed.

"If these allegations are proven, I find it completely unacceptable,
regardless of the person, the victim, the victim's past — whether the victim is
a drug addict, a prostitute. Women, individuals, have a right to have their
integrity respected."

Thériault said Thursday that Sûreté du Québec officers visited Val-d'Or three
times recently to speak to the alleged victims.

Provincial police have confirmed that they are investigating 14 complaints of
abuse of power and assault involving eight officers. The officers remain on the
job. There are no charges at this time.

 Ghislain Picard, chief of the Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador, also
said he has a hunch the alleged situation in Val-d'Or is not an isolated case.

"I'm sure this is going on elsewhere...it is extremely, extremely troubling."
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