Protesters gather at Blair-Hitchens debating venue

Signs protesting Tony Blair's role in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq appeared outside Roy Thomson Hall Friday night. The former prime minister was debating the role of religion with Christopher Hitchens inside the hall. (BLIAR_SIGNE)

Suraia Sahar says former British Prime Minister Tony Blair should be put on trial for war crimes.

“He’s a war criminal and should be brought to justice for his war crimes,” Sahar said. “He completely lied to the world about weapons of mass destruction.”

Last night, Blair, who deployed British troops to Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002, was at Roy Thomson Hall in downtown Toronto. He participated in a two-way debate with author Christopher Hitchens on the impact of religion in the world.

Sahar joined protesters who gathered outside the debating venue. She condemned the former prime minister. Some of the demonstrators held up signs that read “Bliar,” suggesting that Blair had lied about weapons of mass destruction during his tenure as prime minister.

Blair served as the British prime minister for 10 years and was a strong supporter of the military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sahar said she has family in Afghanistan and is concerned about their safety.

“Their lives are constantly in danger and NATO presence there is creating more popularity for insurgence and the Taliban,” she said.

Blair often faces anti-war protesters when he makes public appearances. In September, he was forced to cancel a book signing in London, England, due to security concerns. Sid Lacombe is co-ordinator of the Canadian Peace Alliance.

“We’re going to be out here every single time Tony Blair shows up to make sure he gets a very unwelcome reception here in Canada,” he said.

Blair resigned from his position as British prime minister in 2007.

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