Two ministers' approval required to label detainees threats to security

posted on October 14, 2004 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Original author: Campbell Clark
Source: The Globe and Mail online
URL: [link]
Date: October 13, 2004

Ottawa reverses signoff procedure for deportation of immigrants

OTTAWA -- The federal government has undone a much-criticized change to the way it issues the secretive 'security certificates' that are used to detain and deport immigrants on national security grounds.

Two ministers, the public security minister and the immigration minister, will again be required to sign before such a certificate can be issued.

[ Read the rest ... ]

UK: Promises on Torture Don't Work

posted on October 13, 2004 | in Category International | PermaLink

Source: Human Rights Watch Website
URL: [link]
Date: October 6, 2004

"Diplomatic Assurances" will not Protect Deportees

(London, October 6, 2004) The British government has said it is seeking "diplomatic assurances" that terrorism suspects deported to their home countries will not be tortured there. It argues that, on receipt of such assurances, the men-many of whom have been held without trial for more than two years-could safely be deported.

But experience shows that these assurances are an ineffective safeguard against torture, Human Rights Watch said today. ....The British position is moral abdication-there is a real risk that the men will be tortured if they are returned, whatever promises their home governments may offer.

Holly Cartner
Executive Director
Europe and Central Asia Division


[ Read the rest ... ]

Human Rights Watch Report claims Zubayda is being tortured

posted on October 12, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

In the report summarised below, there is further substantiation of the claim that Abu Zubayda is being tortured under US custody. Abu Zubayda is one of the people that CSIS apparently claims recognised [both Mohamed Harkat's picture and] Adil Charkaoui's picture. After earlier evidence that Zubayda was being tortured was presented in court by Charkaoui's lawyer and the witness Abdulrahman Khadr, the judge who is hearing Charkaoui's case decided to temporarily suspend all consideration of Zubayda's testimony. Perhaps this new report will convince him to make that a permanent decision. Unfortunately, Charkaoui is not able to cross-examine Abu Zoubaydah about any testimony he may have given against him.

More generally, the torture of these detainees, and open coverage of this torture by a mainstream group like Human Rights Watch, shows just how far the US has come in terms of the normalisation of torture, and the use of the "terrorist" label to justify new areas of violence and abuse by the state.

The report can be accessed at [link]

Read on...

[ Read the rest ... ]

Innes Road jail likened to Iraqi prison camp

posted on October 06, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

NOTE: The facility in question is the same one that Mohamed Harkat
has been held in since December 2002.

Original author: Lee Greenberg and Jake Rupert
Source: The Ottawa Citizen online
URL: [link] (subscribers only)
Date: October 06, 2004

Lawyer wants inmate freed unless conditions are improved promptly

A lawyer for an Ottawa man facing two murder trials has accused the provincial government of running the Innes Road jail like an "Iraqi prison camp" in an application that requests the accused be released if conditions don't improve.

The application, filed late last month, states that during Wahab Dadshani's two months in segregation at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre, he has been subject to "physical and psychological cruelty."

Mr. Dadshani has been deprived of regular showers, physical activity and meetings with his lawyer, the document states. His health has deteriorated.

"The applicant has been housed in cells that are not fit for human habitation due to infestations of insects and other periodic problems," according to the document.

Mr. Dadshani's lawyer, Susan Mulligan, calls living conditions at the Innes Road facility subhuman.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Socialist Worker Magazine Interviews Campaign Manager Christian Legeais

posted on October 06, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

The interview focuses on the CBC's attempt to do an in-prison television interview with Mohamed. The CBC has since been granted permission to enter the prison and do the interview. This as a result of letters of protest to Correctional Services spokesperson Bruce O'Neill written by Mohamed's supporters.

HERE is the Socialist Worker story by Ayesha Adhami, September 22, 2004.

Terror suspect (Harkat) attempts novel legal tactic

posted on September 16, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Colin Freeze
Source: The Globe and Mail online
URL: [link]
Date: September 16, 2004

Harkat requests 'friend of court' to dispute secret evidence against him

A terrorism suspect is asking that he be allowed a court-appointed representative who can get behind closed doors and dispute the secret evidence being levied against him.

Mohamed Harkat, an Algerian refugee claimant, is asking for an amicus curiae, or friend of the court, so that he can stave off attempts to deport him.

He is one of five immigrants currently being detained as a potential al-Qaeda sleeper agent. Ottawa is moving to deport them, and Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel, by using a rarely used and highly controversial process.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Why sanctuary is necessary

posted on August 10, 2004 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

Original author: Mitchell Goldberg, freelancer
Source: The Montreal Gazette
URL: [link] (subscription required)
Date: August 10, 2004

Ottawa broke promise on appeals.
Churches step in to correct injustice because refugee system is arbitrary

Judy Sgro, minister of Citizenship and Immigration, was right about one thing in her recent call to churches to stop offering sanctuary: Refugees shouldn't be in sanctuary. She was wrong, however, in her diagnosis of the problem, which lies not with the churches that offer sanctuary, but with the flawed refugee-determination system that fails to protect some refugees.

When refugees' lives are at risk because the government is not protecting them, some people of conscience feel a moral obligation to fill the gap by providing sanctuary.

[ Read the rest ... ]

Harkat review urged

posted on August 10, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Lisa Lisle
Source: The Ottawa Sun
URL: n/a
Date: August 7, 2004

Harkat review urged

Judge wants new meetings with Feds

A Federal Court judge wants the government to take another look at its top-secret evidence against Mohamed Harkat to determine if it should still be kept under wraps. Justice Eleanor Dawson asked last month to meet with government lawyers "for the purpose of determining if as a result of the effluxion of time any further summary of the information or evidence may be provided to Mr. Harkat."

"Some time has passed since the court examined the information on which the security certificate was based in order to consider whether disclosure of all or part of that information would be injurious to national security or to the safety of any person," she wrote in her order.

A closed hearing was scheduled for yesterday to also consider a request from Harkat's lawyer, Paul Copeland, for additional disclosure, but it was cancelled, giving the government time to consider allowing another lawyer into the hearings.

[ Read the rest ... ]

An Interview With Mohamed Harkat (July 2004)

posted on August 08, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

More news:

Mohamed Harkat

Lisa Lisle has been following Mohamed's story from Day One. Read her interview with Mohamed Harkat, originally published in the Ottawa Sun and reprint...


Wife's lonely vigil is her obsession

posted on August 04, 2004 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Original author: Lisa Lisle
Source: The Ottawa Sun Online
URL: [link]
Date: July 31, 2004

Wife's lonely vigil is her obsession

Passing through the gates at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre for one of her cherished 20-minute visits with her husband, Sophie Harkat thinks about his 36th birthday next week. But instead of making plans for a party or a simple family gathering, Sophie Harkat sees it as yet another special occasion stolen from them by the Canadian government, which has accused her husband of having ties to terrorism.

"I thought my second wedding anniversary was bad," she said of the month following Mohamed's arrest.

"It's sad to say, but you kind of get used to it."

And as time drags on, Sophie is left wondering when they'll be able to celebrate again.

Next Friday, Mohamed's birthday will be like every other twice-weekly visit -- 20 minutes and no gifts from home.

"As soon as it's finished, that's it," she said of the strict visitation rules.

But the one-time government worker's life has changed in so many other ways since her husband's arrest.

[ Read the rest ... ]

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