Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Murder Victim's Family: Proposed Tory Bill Shows No Compassion

OTTAWA, August 27, 2008 ( - Monday afternoon, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced that the Conservative government would table a bill that would make pregnancy an aggravating factor when a pregnant woman is assaulted or killed.

"This is not enough!" said Aydin Cocelli, brother-in-law of Aysun Sesen, who was brutally killed last year during her 7th month of pregnancy. "Pregnancy is already considered an aggravating factor. We ask the Canadian government to recognize that we are coping with two losses, two deaths."

"We were pleased that bill C-484, introduced by Conservative MP Ken Epp, acknowledged the fact that we have to cope with two losses. We had hope that it would bring recognition of our pain by the Canadian judicial system.

"Although we have not seen the text of the law, we do not believe that what Justice Minister Nicholson is proposing demonstrates any compassion for the ordeal our family has had to endure since we lost both Aysun and Gul. We know in our hearts that most Canadians understand the painful reality we have been going through over the past few months and we are deeply disappointed that the Canadian government is not showing Aysun and Gul the respect they both deserved," said Cocelli.

Mr. Epp issued a media release on Tuesday in which he expressed his disappointment with the government's decision.

"We understand Mr. Epp's disappointment and are thankful for all the effort he has put forth in order to make a real difference in the lives of families who, like ours, were stripped of the right to share everyday life with a daughter, sister or friend and with a grand-daughter or grand-son, niece or nephew," added Cocelli.

Bill C-484, the Unborn Victims of Crime Act, will continue to follow due process. The bill is currently being studied by the Justice and Human Rights Committee and could come back to the floor of the House of Commons this fall.

"Our family invites all Canadians to keep fighting for Bill C-484. We urge them to show parliament that simply considering pregnancy as an aggravating factor is not sufficient. Canadian women, and the families of Canadian women who were victims of violence deserve better," concluded Cocelli.

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