Future top Mountie Paulson declared security certificate process 'off the rails'

posted on June 04, 2013 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Jim Bronskill (CP) Source: The Ottawa Citizen URL: [link] Date: June 2, 2013 OTTAWA - On his way to becoming Canada's top cop, Bob Paulson told internal reviewers the national security certificate process for detaining suspected terrorists was "completely off the rails," newly released documents show. In an interview with an auditor examining the controversial program, Paulson, now RCMP commissioner, expressed concerns about excessive state secrecy in certificate proceedings. The national security certificate is a seldom-used tool for removing non-citizens suspected of terrorism or espionage from Canada. "In my view, we over claim the protection of sources and methods and this is convenient if you can get away with it," say notes from the October 2009 interview, recently released under the Access to Information Act. Paulson was assistant RCMP commissioner for national security at the time of the interview. Two years later, he was picked by the Harper government to become commissioner.

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Harkat optimistic about appeal

posted on January 25, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Noman Bajwah Source: Muslim Link URL: [link] Date: January 22, 2013 Ten years after his arrest, security certificate detainee Mohamed Harkat has something to look forward to. Mr. Harkat’s case will become the first to test the constitutionality of Canada’s revised security certificate law as it moves to a hearing before the Supreme Court. On November 22, the Supreme Court of Canada declared it would hear appeals from the Algerian-born Ottawa resident and the government, most likely in the fall of 2013. “I’m confident,” Mr. Harkat replied when asked how he felt about the outcome of the appeals. “I have big hopes in the Supreme Court,” he stated. His wife is similarly optimistic. “It’s unfortunate that we’ve had to go through two certificates and the federal court of appeal, but for me – the ultimate justice comes in the hands of the highest court,” Sophie Harkat told reporters. Mr. Harkat’s attorneys have long stated that the government’s use of the security certificate process is profoundly unfair because Harkat still doesn’t know the exact detail of the allegations against him. In April 2012, the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the constitutionality of the security certificates, but also ordered Federal Court Justice Simon Noel to reconsider his conclusion that Mr. Harkat’s continuing presence in Canada was a security threat. The provision that is most attacked by Mr. Harkat and his supporters is the “special advocates” clause, which allows individuals aligned with the government to be privy to secret government evidence. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled in April that the use of such advocates is constitutional. These “special advocates” are government appointed agents who must consult with the same judge who upheld the certificate to talk to the detainee. “Special advocates” are supposed to be security-cleared lawyers who are allowed to attend closed hearings where they can hear government evidence and ostensibly protect the rights of the accused. However, a key component of the “special advocates” role is that they are forbidden from communicating with the detainees or their ordinary legal counsel about the confidential information that is divulged to them in secrecy. Mr. Harkat was arrested outside his Ottawa home on Dec. 10, 2002 for allegedly operating a safe house for extremists in Pakistan. He was 19 years old at the time. His ten year ordeal has been marked by 43 months of imprisonment followed by three and a half years of the harshest bail and house arrest conditions imposed in Canadian history. His family put up $100,000 to guarantee his release condition that he wear an electronic monitoring device at all times, remain under 24-hour supervision (even while at home). He also had to inform authorities 48 hours in advance if he planned on leaving his home and had to submit the names of people he planned on seeing. Those bail conditions were eased in September 2009. Two years later, the government issued a security certificate against him and served him with a notice of deportation. Even now, Mr. Harkat cannot use the internet, cannot use a telephone outside the house and must receive special permission to leave Ottawa. Mrs. Harkat says officials with the Canadian Border Services Agency are constantly parked outside their home. Copyright © 2013 Eye Media Solutions Inc. All rights reserved.

Harkat recounts his turbulent decade under terrorist storm cloud

posted on January 18, 2013 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: December 10, 2012

[PHOTO: Sophie and Mohamed Harkat are marking the tenth anniversary of his initial arrest, on Dec. 10, 2002.]

OTTAWA — Ten years ago, on Dec. 10, 2002, Mohamed Harkat had a few errands to run before starting his 3 p.m. shift as a Petro-Canada gas station cashier.

First, he had to throw out the garbage at his Vanier townhouse complex, then he had to drop off an application to renew his work permit at a federal immigration office. He was hoping to find work as a short-haul truck driver.

After depositing his trash, however, Harkat was stopped in his tracks by a team of border agents and police officers.

One of the agents put his hand on Harkat’s arm and showed him a picture. Harkat stared into his own face.

“You are Mohamed Harkat?” the agent demanded.

“Yes,” Harkat said.

Harkat had been living in Ottawa for seven years, ever since making a refugee claim in 1995. But his English was still a work in progress. He didn’t understand everything the agent then told him; he knew only that he was under arrest.

“In my head, a thousand questions came to my brain,” remembers Harkat of the moment that would mark the start of his 10-year legal odyssey.

“But I never, ever thought I’d be arrested: there is no reason. There’s nothing I did wrong.”

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Doc Ignite! Help Us Complete The Secret Trial 5!

posted on January 16, 2013 | in Category Misc | PermaLink

Click on the image below to watch the video at Vimeo.com:

promo for the film project The Secret Trial 5

VIDEO: Ottawa Sun Interview with Mohamed and Sophie (Nov, 2012)

posted on December 16, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Doug Hempstead Source: The Ottawa Sun URL: [link] Date: November 22, 2012 Mohamed and Sophie at home, Nov 2012
LINK TO VIDEO: www.justiceforharkat.com/download.php?view.270

Source: OTTAWA SUN: Mohamed Harkat gets shot to clear himself at Supreme Court

Les 10 ans d'enfer de Mohamed Harkat

posted on December 12, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

par Philippe Orfali Source: La Presse Date: 11 décembre 2012 [PHOTO: Hier marquaient les dix ans de l'arrestation de Mohamed Harkat, devant son appartement d'Ottawa.] Le 10 décembre 2002, tout basculait pour Mohamed Harkat, son épouse Sophie et leurs proches. Alors qu'il sortait faire des emplettes, l'homme d'origine algérienne à la vie en apparence rangée était arrêté. Son crime allégué, le pire de tous: terrorisme.

Pour quelles raisons, et surtout, en se basant sur quelles preuves? Impossible de le savoir. Arrêté en vertu d'un certificat de sécurité, celui qui avait obtenu en 1998 le statut de réfugié n'aura pas accès à l'ensemble des preuves que détient le gouvernement contre lui. « Ça viole à peu près tous les principes du droit. Chacun a droit de savoir ce qu'on lui reproche. Or, ce n'est pas le cas avec ceux qui font l'objet d'un certificat de sécurité», a souligné hier Elizabeth May, la chef du Parti vert. Hier marquaient les dix ans de l'arrestation de Mohamed Harkat, devant son appartement d'Ottawa. Dix années, dont près de quatre passées derrière les barreaux, certaines passées en incarcération solitaire. Comble de l'ironie, cette date coïncide avec la Journée internationale des droits de la personne. « Ce pays ne représente plus les valeurs humaines avec lesquelles j'ai été élevée, laisse tomber Pierrette Brunette, la belle-mère de Mohamed Harkat. La vie de ma famille a été, est et sera à jamais perturbée par toutes les conditions de vie de mon gendre. Ce sont des facteurs difficiles à supporter, même après tout ce temps-là.» © La Presse, ltée. Tous droits réservés.

Canada's secret trials, immigration policy under fire on Human Rights Day

posted on December 12, 2012 | in Category Canada's Immigration Policy | PermaLink

by David P. Ball Source: Rabble.ca URL: [link] Date: December 10, 2012 Organizers in at least eight cities across the country are rallying support for Canadian Muslims rounded up in the so-called War on Terror -- particularly the ongoing punishment without trial of three men under security certificates. The events, which kicked off last night with a candlelight vigil in Vancouver, include what is billed as a "family-friendly noise demonstration" in front of Montreal's Laval Immigration Prevention Centre today, as well as events in Toronto, Calgary, Saskatoon, Ottawa, and Halifax. The actions coincide with the unveiling, 64 years ago, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 -- a document frequently cited by the Canadian government as it criticizes other regimes' behaviour around the world, such as Iran or Syria. But Dec. 10 is not only International Human Rights Day. It is also the day that Mohamed Harkat was arrested on alleged terrorism-related charges ten years ago, when he was imprisoned for nearly four years, one of which in solitary confinement.

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Are Your Human Rights Safe in Canada?

posted on December 11, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Shahla Khan Salter Source: The Huffington Post Canada URL: [link] Date: December 10, 2012 Monday, December 10 is International Human Rights Day. And on this day three Canadians remain in prison in Iran. All three have been charged with computer-related crimes. The reason? Measures against "illegal" computer use are ruthlessly enforced by the Iranian government in an effort to wipe out online information against that government. Our Canadian government has not been able to secure the release of these three Canadians. Talk of war against Iran makes their release ever more improbable. Will they languish there forever? Or will a bomb, manufactured in the Western world, simply drop, one day, on Evin Prison and kill all the innocent people inside, including our three Canadians. People say, "Well -- it's too bad they went there. They should have known better." Are we safer here in Canada? Legally, yes. Canadian law is clear. Section 11 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms applies to "everyone" and grants us the rights to be informed of the charge against us; tried within a reasonable period of time; not to be compelled to testify against ourselves; to be presumed innocent until proven guilty; and not to be found guilty unless the action is a crime. (These are only a portion of our Charter rights.) The result? A vast body of Canadian law has been developed that upholds the rights of individuals even in the face of the most heinous crimes. It means, here in Canada if the evidence is tainted by a denial of individual rights, the case can be dismissed. The protection of the individual in some cases is known to cause outrage.

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VIDEO: Our Press Conference in Ottawa, December 10th

posted on December 11, 2012 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Thank you, OttawaFRO, for filming and uploading to YouTube this video footage from Monday's Press conference in Ottawa. The press conference was hosted by Amnesty International Canada.

Mohamed Harkat, dix ans plus tard

posted on December 11, 2012 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

par Bahador Zabihiyan Source: Le Devoir URL: [link] Date: 11 décembre 2012 [PHOTO: Mohamed Harkat devant le Parlement, à Ottawa.] Le 10 décembre 2002, Mohamed Harkat se faisait passer les menottes devant l’immeuble où il habitait à Ottawa, par un agent des services frontaliers. « Je pensais que tout rentrerait dans l’ordre en l’espace de quelques minutes », se souvient-il. Mais après trois ans et demi passés en prison et plus de six ans en résidence surveillée, le gouvernement le soupçonne toujours de terrorisme, en vertu d’un certificat de sécurité. Son comité de soutien s’est rassemblé sur la colline parlementaire, lundi, pour souligner cette date anniversaire. La saga judiciaire que vit M. Harkat pourrait venir à terme en 2013 : la Cour suprême a récemment accepté de se pencher sur son cas en particulier et sur le régime des certificats de sécurité en général. Les certificats de sécurité sont délivrés par le gouvernement fédéral lorsqu’il craint qu’une personne représente un danger pour la sécurité nationale ou constitue une menace terroriste. Trois certificats sont présentement actifs au pays, dont celui de M. Harkat. Cette procédure permet de détenir une personne pour une durée indéterminée sans accusation et sans accès à la preuve.

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