Campaign for investigation of torture expands

By Bob Unruh

Eddy, the son of former New Jersey resident Scott Loper, pictured before Loper was jailed in Canada and Eddy disappeared

A campaign seeking an international investigation into allegations that an American was jailed and tortured in Canada – at the same time his wife and young son disappeared – has expanded to the League of Women Voters of Virginia, where officials have written members of Congress asking for their help.

“The Scott Loper story of inhumane treatment at the hands of a foreign government and the disappearance of his son are truly troubling,” the letter from Olga Hernandez, president of the League of Woman Voters of Virginia, told Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in a letter.

“You are a congressional leader active in human rights work worldwide, I thus ask that you to work with Congressman Wolf to initiate a request for a thorough investigation of this matter.

“International relations agreements, standards of decency and adherence to international law are very important,” she continued. “The disappearance of any child is very trouble. The situation surrounding this case compounds the concern.”

Hernandez told WND the organization was not taking a position on Loper’s allegations, but felt it was important for the situation to be reviewed.

A similar letter also was mailed to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., who previously told Loper’s attorney he is unable to help in the situation.

WND has reported for two years on the case of Loper, who was jailed in Canada from about 2000-2004.

Loper alleges he uncovered a police-run drug ring and he was arrested and jailed on trumped-up charges to keep him quiet. He has created a website that describes his case and his goals.

He previously unsuccessfully sought help from Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

U.S. officials have confirmed that Canada has admitted jailing Loper and admitted “mistakes” were made in his case. But Loper’s efforts so far to have a Vienna Convention violation complaint filed with the World Court have been unsuccessful. Under that treaty, only nations – not individuals – can file complaints.

Loper’s civil rights attorney, C. Scott Shields, told WND earlier the lack of help for his client is troubling.

“All Americans should beware of traveling outside of the
United States since our government is officially taking the position that if
you are incarcerated in a foreign nation; regardless if you are tortured,
you will not receive any support from the United States government,” Shields said then, “and that
you are on your own to fend for yourself, even in cases where you have young
children that disappear as a result of your incarceration.”

The lawyer was referring to the disappearance of Loper’s wife and 3-year-old son, Eddy, at the time of his arrest. Loper reports his family disappeared at his arrest, and his actual sentences were for violating a court order barring him from trying to reach them. He explains authorities then were using his family to prevent him from pursuing his complaints.

But he hasn’t seen them since.

Shields said the Loper’s inability so far to obtain a full investigation should concern Americans.

“There is apparently a secret new State Department policy regarding Americans
who find themselves incarcerated overseas. A policy of abandonment,” he reported at the time.

WND broke the story in 2007 of Loper’s account of his experiences, including his descriptions of torture at the hands of Canadian authorities and authorities’ refusal to notify U.S. consular officials as required under the Vienna Convention.

Loper and his civil rights attorney have been working to obtain a full investigation of his jailing and treatment by Canadian authorities. They have taken their case directly to American people by posting a YouTube video about his case: