One day it could be you. The persecution of Mohamed Harkat

posted on March 21, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Sophie Lamarche Harkat Source: Peace Alliance Winnipeg URL: [link] Date: March 20, 2011 What was expected to be the end of a long nightmare and a great end to 2010 turned out to be a disaster. We can’t really put 2010 behind us because our battle continues. On Dec. 9th, 2010, the day before International Human Rights Day and the 8th-year anniversary of my husband Mohamed Harkat’s arrest under a security certificate, the Harkat family, his legal team, and his supporters across the country got a big punch in the guts. It is one, Moe and I never expected. One, which many never expected! Our family, supporters, groups, unions and legal experts were all shocked at the recent ruling made by Justice Simon Noel from the Federal Court of Canada to uphold the security certificate against Moe. The certificate was found ”reasonable” under the lowest standard of proof in a Canadian court. This decision was based on secret evidence neither Mohamed nor his public counsels could see or test for national security reasons. All that because CSIS believes, thinks, or assumes that Moe was involved or will be involved with terrorism in the past, present, or future. That position could cover any one of us at any time. To this day, he still does not know the evidence against him. We have all been kept in the dark for eight years.



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Le gouvernement soutient qu'il n'a pas à être de bonne foi lors des audiences secrètes

posted on March 16, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

par Matthew Behrens, Campagne pour arrêter les procès secrets au Canada Source: Parti communiste du Canada (marxiste-léniniste) URL: [link] Date: 19 janvier 2011 Mohamed Harkat, un réfugié algérien détenu au Canada sur la base d'allégations secrètes qu'il n'a pas le droit de voir, depuis le 10 décembre 2002, a reçu de mauvaises nouvelles le mois dernier, lorsque le juge de la Cour fédérale, Simon Noël, a enclenché le processus de sa déportation vers la torture. Le juge Noël maintient le certificat de sécurité contre Mohamed Harkat sur la base d'allégations secrètes sans fondements, ainsi que de « résumés » produits par le SCRS de supposées conversations téléphoniques datant de plus de dix ans, dont les originaux, s'ils ont jamais existé, ont été détruits depuis longtemps. (Les certificats de sécurité permettent au gouvernement, en utilisant les normes de preuves les plus basses, de détenir de façon indéfinie des immigrants et des réfugiés sur la base d'allégations secrètes ainsi que d'informations inadmissibles en justice, dans le but ultime de les déporter — habituellement vers la torture). Le juge a aussi fait une constatation défavorable contre Mohamed Harkat qui contredisait complètement la décision d'un autre juge rendue l'an dernier sur la même question mais un cas de sécurité séparé.[1] Des notes de bas de page secrètes

Comme pour justifier le secret de la condamnation de Mohamed Harkat, le juge Noël a depuis publié plusieurs notes de bas de page « top secrètes », nouvelles et caviardées sur ce jugement qui, selon les avocats du gouvernement, mettraient en péril la sécurité nationale si elles étaient publiées. Leur disponibilité récente n'a pas fait tomber le ciel sur nos têtes, mais quiconque est intéressé à les lire découvrira que la chose la plus dangereuse à leur propos est la quantité d'encre utilisée pour imprimer page après page de larges blocs noirs pour garder secret ce qui se trouve en dessous, ponctués seulement de temps en temps par un mot ou deux. La page 7, par exemple, est incroyablement utile. Sous le chapitre « Armes », pas un seul mot, seulement beaucoup d'encre noire. Sous la section « Afghanistan », on ne peut lire que : « Harkat nie être allé en Afghanistan », suivi d'un tiers de page d'encre noire. La section « Ressources financières » est un autre grand bloc d'encre noire suivi de la phrase éclairante du juge Noël qui se lit : « Sur la base de ces informations, la Cour conclut que Harkat avait d'autres ressources financières à sa disposition au Pakistan ». Les pages 13 et 14 sont entièrement caviardées.

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The Interview: Mohamed Harkat

posted on March 01, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by David Julian Wightman Source: XRay Magazine URL: [link] Date: February 24, 2011 The Interview: Mohamed Harkat The Kafkaesque secret trial of Mohamed Harkat

by David Julian Wightman If you want to interview Mohamed Harkat you have to reach him at home on his land-line. As part of the federal security certificate against him, Harkat is not allowed to use a computer or the Internet, or even a cell phone. He’s not allowed to leave Ottawa area without permission---he was recently denied permission to travel to Montreal for a dinner in his honour---and must wear a GPS tracking unit on his ankle. The restrictions against him are lighter than they used to be. Until the government mysteriously lifted the more severe stipulations in September 2009, Harkat could not be left alone at home without the supervision of one of his three court-appointed sureties. Canadian Border Security officers used to watch the house where Harkat lives with his wife Sophie. Two surveillance cameras were installed in the living room and front entrance, and all visitors had to be pre-approved by security officials. Their phone was tapped and mail was intercepted. Family Christmas cards were finally delivered in January, if at all. With conditions like that, you’d think Mohamed Harkat stands accused of the most terrible crimes imaginable. Not so. CSIS alleges that he’s a sleeper agent for al-Qaeda but Harkat hasn’t been charged with anything. The evidence against him is secret. There is no due process accorded to Harkat under the security certificate against him. Instead, the federal government and CSIS can label him---and anyone else, presumably---a threat to national security, and conduct secret trials in which the accused has no right to hear, let alone challenge, the evidence against them.

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Secret Trials, Blackmail and Other Adventures

posted on March 01, 2011 | in Category CSIS | PermaLink

by Meagan Wohlberg and Jasmine Papillon-Smith Source: The Link (Concordia University, Montreal) URL: [link] Date: February 8, 2011 Secret Trials, Blackmail and Other Adventures: Panel Investigates the Human Rights Cost of National Security

+++++++++++++++++++++++ In the Hands of Canada’s Secret Service

Secret trials, blackmail and other “dirty tricks” were on the table at “CSIS: Who needs them?” an event held at Concordia’s Hall Building over the weekend. Panelists, offering first-hand accounts, spoke about the history of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, kicking off the People’s Commission Network Popular Forum on national security on Saturday morning. Sharing the panel were Laurentian University professor and editor of Whose National Security? Gary Kingsman, lawyer Yavar Hameed, Kanehsatake activist Clifton Arihwakehte Nicholas and Palestinian-rights activist Marie-Ève Sauvé. Hameed, who acts as counsel for Muslims and Arabs in CSIS investigations, is currently representing Mohamed Mahjoub, one of the last remaining security certificate cases in Canada. Security certificates allow for permanent residents and refugees in Canada to be imprisoned indefinitely on secret evidence, with the presumption that they are connected in some way to a threat to national security. Evidence is not disclosed to the defendant or their legal counsel, and once a judge upholds the certificate there is no access to an appeals process. The result of an upheld security certificate is deportation, often to countries where the defendant faces torture.

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Fighting Security Certificates

posted on March 01, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Alex Di Pietro
Source: The Link (Concordia University, Montreal)
URL: [link]
Date: February 8, 2011


Representatives from respective community groups lashed out against the issuance of Canadian security certificates and other immigration security measures during a panel discussion in the Hall Building on Sunday.

The Government of Canada has issued security certificates to foreign nationals it deems can pose a threat to Canada. While no actual charges have been laid, the government has used secret evidence to reach a decision. The outcomes of approved security certificates consist of detention and deportation. Twenty-eight security certificates have been issued since 1991.

The common fear for those issued security certificates is that, upon being deported back to their country of origin, they will run a high risk of being to tortured.

“Ask any Canadian, left or right, if [he or she] thinks it’s correct to throw someone in jail without knowing why,” said Hassan Almrei, a Syrian-born refugee from Toronto who was detained for nearly seven-and-a-half years on suspicion of having terrorist links.

Almrei staged three hunger strikes during his detention in various Ontario prisons from 2001 until his release 2009—the last ending after he fasted for more than five months at the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre.
“My mouth was my only weapon,” said Almrei in regards to his aim of attracting public attention. He still has no idea why he was detained.

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PHOTOS from The Peoples Commission Forum, Montreal, Feb. 2011

posted on February 18, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Here are some photos taken at the event "Whose security? Our Security! Countering the National Security Agenda" held earlier this month in Montreal. The CBSA refused Mohamed Harkat permission to attend this Forum which included a dinner in his honor. Thanks to our Friend Darren Ell for taking these photos at the Montreal event and for sharing them with us. All images: © Darren Ell 2011 Personal Website: http://www.darrenell.com
Online Photo Archive: http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenell
Wedding Photography: http://photooxygene.com


Auditorium in The Hall Building, Concordia University.


Ellen Gabriel, activist from the community of Kanehsatake


Mary Foster, one of the chief organizers of the event.


Lots of warm meals were served by volunteers.


Longtime Harkat Committee member Jo Wood speaks as Sophie Harkat and others listen. All images: © Darren Ell 2011

VIEW ALL THE PHOTOS HERE.

VIEW ALL OUR PHOTOS FROM THE PAST 8 YEARS HERE.


Justice for Harkat: no deportation to torture

posted on February 16, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Jessica Squires Source: Socialist Worker URL: [link] Date: February, 2011 On January 20, Mohamed Harkat was served with a deportation order. The recent ruling of his security certificate as “reasonable” by the federal court was automatically converted into the order. The next step will be a danger assessment by the minister of immigration or his delegate. The court also ruled in mid-January that a constitutional appeal was permissible. Both processes will take some time, and will delay any eventual deportation. Harkat is now at risk of forced removal to torture in Algeria. The conditions that led Canada to grant Harkat refugee status have not disappeared; the danger to him if deported to Algeria has multiplied because of the allegations against him. Under international law, no deportations should take place to countries where there is risk of death or torture—a principle referred to as “no refoulement.” Amnesty International has stated that there is a significant risk of torture in Algeria. Even the US State Department states in its 2008 country report on Algeria that torture and impunity “remains a problem.” The government may seek so-called “diplomatic assurances”—promises of safe treatment—from countries to which it seeks to deport individuals. But Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have concluded that “diplomatic assurances” are empty promises. A February 2009 International Commission of Jurists report also calls on governments “not to rely on diplomatic assurances or other forms of non-binding agreements to transfer individuals when there is a real risk of serious human rights violations.” Despite this, in its most recent report to the UN Committee Against Torture, Canada claims it can rely on monitoring arrangements in situations where diplomatic assurances are secured. Numerous international examples show this claim to be false. If there is the possibility of torture with impunity, there is the probability of secrecy. Diplomatic assurances cannot be relied upon under any circumstances. A Supreme Court of Canada appeal in 2007 ruled the earlier version of the security certificate law unconstitutional. The coming appeal will again draw attention to the unconstitutionality of the Canadian security certificate process. Mohamed Harkat has never been charged with a crime. He denies all allegations. He is still waiting for justice. Mobilization is essential. The focus of the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee is presently the new Statement Against Security Certificates. It is urgent that union locals and federations, social justice groups, and mass membership organizations of all kinds, as well as individuals, endorse the statement, which calls for due process for those detained under certificates and subsequently denied their human rights. To endorse the statement, sign online or download and print for circulation, visit www.harkatstatement.com

© 2011 Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated).



THE REAL NEWS: Canadian Secret Trial

posted on February 08, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Source: The Real News URL: [link] Date: February, 2011 A new video report produced by Lia Tarachansky for The Real News:


Mohamed Harkat barred from attending dinner in his honour

posted on February 03, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Press Release Source: Peoples Commission Network Date: February 3, 2011 Mohamed Harkat barred from attending dinner in his honour Popular Forum: Whose Security? Our Security! Countering the national security agenda

Montreal, 3 February 2011 – A community dinner in Montreal in support of Mohamed Harkat – engaged in an eight-year battle against deportation to torture on the basis of secret suspicions - will have to go ahead without its guest of honour. Mohamed Harkat learned late last week that the Canadian Border Services Agency refused his request to attend the dinner, organized as the closing event of a Montreal conference on national security. CBSA, which is in charge of enforcing the strict bail conditions imposed on Mr. Harkat, stated that Mr. Harkat could not attend because of the “the nature of the proposed event, its anticipated participants, as well as its venue”. The event, a free vegetarian dinner, will take place at a Montreal university. The agency referred specifically to Mr. Harkat’s condition of non-association with “any person whom Mr. Harkat knows, or ought to know, supports terrorism or violent Jihad or [...] who poses a threat to national security.” "The way in which national security can be used as a blanket justification for such abusive, arbitrary decisions is exactly why it is necessary to hold this important forum," stated the People's Commission Network, which is organizing the Whose Security? Our Security! conference.

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Alternatives sought to deporting terror suspects

posted on January 28, 2011 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by The Canadian Press
Source: CBC News
URL: [link]
Date: January 27, 2011

The federal government is quietly studying alternatives to deporting terrorism suspects under the much-maligned national security certificate as attempts to remove them get bogged down in the courts.

The effort reflects candid federal admissions that it's almost impossible to send non-citizens with alleged terror links to their home countries because they may be tortured or killed.

Currently, three people arrested under security certificates — Mohamed Harkat of Algeria, and Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, both from Egypt — are out on bail under strict surveillance as their cases slowly grind through the courts.

Harkat was recently served with a deportation order, but his lawyers argue he should not be removed while the security certificate system is still under judicial review.

A federal interdepartmental body known as the Alternatives to Removal Working Group began meeting in March 2009 to explore policy options for managing people deemed a threat to national security, documents disclosed under the Access to Information Act show.

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