Mohamed Harkat

Mohamed Harkat - 20 Years of Injustice and continuing

posted on December 10, 2022 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Another December 10th. Another International Human Rights Day. Another cruel irony that on this day, 20 years ago Mohamed Harkat's human rights nightmare began.[/p]

Painting By Nicole McGrath

20 years of fighting deportation to torture: Justice for Mohamed Harkat Now!

ICLMG 10/12/2022 - December 10, 2022 - ironically Human Rights Day - marks the 20th "anniversary" of the arrest of Mohamed Harkat under Canada's rights-violating security certificate regime.

For Mr. Harkat, it's been two decades of fighting deportation to torture, 16 years of harassment and intrusive surveillance, arbitrary detention, solitary confinement, secret trials, PTSD: enough is enough! We call for justice for Moe Harkat now!

Watch - Visionnez

Materialization of racialized surveillance: Lived experiences of home imprisonment

posted on August 15, 2021 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Subhah Wadhawan
Source: Sage Journals
URL: [link]


Racialization, surveillance, and securitization may be distinct theoretical concepts, but they are nevertheless significantly intertwined. Race, as a mode of thinking and governance, largely informs the practices of securitization, whereby surveilling racialized bodies is an immanent task of the securitization process. To demonstrate this relationship, I interviewed three of the men from the infamous Canadian “Secret Trial 5” Security Certificate cases and their family members. I investigate their lived experiences of home imprisonment, examining how their home became a key site for the operation and deployment of racialized surveillance. Their experiences illustrate how surveillance emerges as a practice of securitization, where racialized “Others” are reaffirmed as threats to and subjects of unfettered surveillance practices. As the only research endeavor to interview Canada’s security certificate detainees and their families, this article demonstrates how securitization materializes through the transformation of the home into a prison; this is achieved through the imposition of carceral practices and a penal architecture within the home and through eroding belonging and safety for the people living under this type of regime. Moreover, given that most studies focusing on the experiences of securitization are restricted to the experiences of the incarcerated individuals, these studies often exclude, and by extension, silence the voices of the families also touched by these processes. Thus, this article illuminates that, albeit, in different magnitudes, families also undergo the pains of imprisonment.


Syria In The Lead.. Euro-Med Monitor Report: Widespread Torture In The Arab Region

posted on June 29, 2021 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by Euro Med Monitor
Source: Scoop World
URL: [link]
Date: June 27, 2021

Geneva - The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor called on the governments of Arab countries to stop all forms of torture against prisoners and detainees, stressing that most governments and conflicting parties in the Middle East and North Africa, especially the Syrian regime, use torture as a systematic policy inside prisons and detention centers.

Most governments in the Arab region widely practice torture, amid near absence of effective accountability and oversight mechanisms, and they sometimes cover up these illegal practices, said the Geneva-based Euro-Med Monitor in a report issued on Saturday morning on the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The Euro-Med Monitor report, entitled “I can’t bear it anymore” highlighted the methods and forms of torture in the Arab region, based on 32 testimonies of former detainees and families of current detainees in several countries where torture practices were documented.

Based on 32 testimonies of former detainees and families of current detainees, the Euro-Med Monitor report, entitled “I Can’t take it anymore”, highlighted the methods and forms of torture practiced in different countries of the Arab region.

It documented torture practices in nine Middle Eastern countries; Iraq, Syria, Bahrain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Israel and the Palestinian territories, in addition to five others in North Africa; Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Sudan.

Some countries that suffer from internal conflicts, such as Syria, witness widespread torture practices among all parties to the conflict with each taking their part in responsibility.

Torture practices are common in countries that witness internal conflicts, such as Syria, said the report, adding that conflicting parties are all disproportionately responsible.

Euro-Med Monitor pointed out that impunity for torture perpetrators is a huge challenge. Although most Arab countries have agreed to international standards for investigation, prosecution and accountability of torture and ill-treatment, the number of torture prosecutions in the region does not reflect the actual number of torture cases, since investigations related to torture cases are mostly sham, and therefore their results are ultimately ineffective because most of these violations were committed under the cover of the ruling authority.

There are different methods of torture, including physical torture; such as beating, slapping, kicking, suspension, electrocution, and waterboarding, sexual torture; such as rape, rape threats and sexual insults, and psychological torture; such as deprivation of sleep or solitary confinement for long hours.

Nine out of ten allegations of torture and ill-treatment that were formally submitted to governments around the world are ignored, with some countries not even responding in a manner that allows effective prevention or investigation of the violation in question, said Nils Melzer, the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

According to a report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Syria recorded the highest number of torture victims from March 2011 to June 2021, with at least 14,537 people, including 180 children and 92 women, killed due to torture practiced by the conflicting parties. 14,338 people were killed only by the Syrian regime forces.

“Most Arab countries prohibit torture in theory, but it is a cornerstone of their repressive system and is used frequently against their political opponents or human rights defenders,” said Anas Jerjawi, Euro-Med Monitor’s Chief Operations Officer.

“International policies towards torture perpetrators should be more stringent. This includes imposing sanctions on countries involved in torture practices, and activating the UN’s oversight mechanisms in prisons and detention centers in said countries.” Jerjawi added.

Euro-Med Monitor report recommended that countries and conflicting parties in the Arab region stop all forms of torture against detainees and prisoners, and train officials to apply international standards in prisons and detention centers.

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor urged the concerned parties to stop providing immunity for perpetrators of torture, especially to investigation officers, or individuals affiliated with the armed forces in general or in conflict zones under the pretext that it is an emergency, terrorism, or matters that threatens national security. It called them on to investigate all complaints of torture to limit it, thus putting an end to it.

It also called on Arab countries to take all measures necessary to amend or adopt new national legislation that includes clear criminalization of torture, in line with the definition of torture included in Article 1 of the Convention against Torture.

© Scoop Media

OHCHR: Algerian, International NGOs denounce serious rights violations in Algeria

posted on June 26, 2021 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Source: The North Africa Post
URL: [link]
Date: June 21, 2021

Morocco and the US ended the 2021 African Lion drills on June 17 with tactical exercises using live ammunition to improve interoperability of the participating armies near Tan Tan.

The last segment of the African Lion drills focused on honing the combat preparedness and responsiveness of Moroccan and US artilleries.

A key part of the closing of the exercise featured the deployment in the air of the U.S. Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 31st Fighter Wing and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft which flew alongside Moroccan F-16s demonstrating partnership and capability to execute combined operations.

“The arrival of fighters and tankers adds another level to this already dynamic exercise,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa commander. “Every flight brings another opportunity to work closely with our partners and exchange best practices so we can better pursue our shared goals.”

Both air forces trained on refueling missions for the F-16Cs in a simulation of combat environment in Guelmim.

Pilots, enabled by Moroccan logistics and sustainment teams, flew the aircraft through a close air support training range before flying to Guelmim Airfield to practice the delivery of weapons and air support, delivering seven 500lb laser-guided weapons.

The maritime portion of the exercise, led by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, includes a naval gunfire exercise, multiple sea-based maneuvers, and crisis response capabilities.

More than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces. AL21 is a multi-domain, multi-component, and multi-national exercise, which employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal of strengthening interoperability among participants.

Besides Morocco and the US, The African Lion brings together armies of allied countries such as the UK, Canada, Brazil, Tunisia, Senegal, the Netherlands and Italy, as well as the Atlantic Alliance. Military observers from some 30 countries representing Africa, Europe and America attend the exercise, which is the largest in Africa.

This year’s drills were held in multiple locations in Morocco, including in Mahbes, about 40 kilometers from the rear base of the Algeria-based Polisario separatist militias. Mahbes was also the scene of a paratrooper deployment in an exercise that tests rapid reaction and mobilization.

The drills also cover combatting violent terrorist organizations as well as land, airborne, air, maritime and nuclear, radiological, biological and chemical decontamination exercises.

© 2021 The North Africa Post

Send Holiday Cards for Harkat’s Freedom: Stop Deportation to Torture

posted on December 10, 2020 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by: Matthew Behrens
Source: Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
URL: [link]
Date: December 10, 2020

Please send a season’s greeting card or letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair to stop the persecution of Ottawa refugee Mohamed Harkat, still fighting to end his deportation to torture and win his long-deserved permanent residence (samples below. No postage needed!). December holidays are rooted in freeing the captives, bringing good news to the poor and brokenhearted, and liberation of the oppressed. You can send the greetings postage-free, and it will have far more impact in the age of electronic communication. Sample messages are below.

Thank you!
Matthew Behrens
Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture


Starting December 10, 2002, Mohamed (Moe) Harkat was illegally held for 43 months in maximum security detention without charge on secret allegations he was not allowed to properly contest. He was held under legislation unanimously found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada in 2007.


Algerian man fights to stay in Canada after years of uncertainty

posted on December 20, 2019 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

by: Jillian Kestler-D'Amours Source: Al Jazeera English URL: [link] Date: December 16, 2019 Supporters of Mohamed Harkat, who's spent 17 years under 'security certificate', says he'll face persecution if deported

Montreal, Canada - It has been nearly two decades since Sophie Lamarche-Harkat's husband was arrested outside their home in the Canadian capital, Ottawa. Since then, the circumstances surrounding Mohamed Harakat's detention and restricted release have shifted, but the couple's life together remains mired in uncertainty. "I'm just exhausted. I'm burnt out from all this. This has taken a toll on both of us," Sophie told Al Jazeera in a telephone interview last week. "It feels unreal [that] it's been 17 years." Harkat fled Algeria as civil war gripped the country in the mid-1990s. He eventually moved to Canada, where he obtained refugee status. On December 10, 2002, however, he was arrested in Ottawa. Accused of being tied to al-Qaeda and associating with extremists, allegations he denies, he was detained under what is called a "security certificate". Used against a handful of people in Canada in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in the United States, the security certificate mechanism is an immigration tool that allows the Canadian government to detain and deport non-citizens on national security grounds. With security certificates, the government does not have to charge the accused with a crime and it can rely on evidence it keeps secret for reasons of security. In Harkat's case, he was detained for more than three years before being released with restrictions. The 17-year anniversary of Harkat's arrest has prompted renewed calls for the Canadian government to lift the security certificate and allow Harkat to remain in the country. The case has also put the spotlight on Canadian immigration processes - and raised new questions about the government's long-standing security certificates system, as well as fears Harkat would face torture in Algeria. "Mo's never been charged and everybody's that's met and loves him will tell you that he doesn't have an ounce of hate in him. My husband is loving, hard-working, he's funny," Sophie said. "It's so shameful that in Canada - a Canada that's known for human rights, has put my husband through hell. Not only him, me and my entire family." 'Kafkaesque' system

According to the Canadian government, 27 people have been issued security certificates since 1991. Part of the country's immigration system, security certificates give the government the power to detain and deport non-citizens it believes pose a threat to national security, have committed human rights violations, or who are involved in organised crime, among other things. Due to the nature of the alleged offences and to protect national security, Ottawa keeps much of the evidence used in security certificate cases confidential. Five men, including Harkat, were issued security certificates in the early 2000s after Canada passed an Anti-Terrorism Act in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. The cases of those men, known as the Secret Trial Five, led human rights groups to condemn Canada for using a tool they argued violates the right to due process and relies on secret evidence. It was later revealed that in Harkat's case, the Canadian government used information it obtained from a Guantanamo Bay detainee known as Abu Zubaydah who was subjected to torture at the hands of US interrogators, including 83 rounds of waterboarding in a single month. After his arrest, Harkat spent more than three years in Ontario's Kingston Immigration Holding Centre, known as Canada's Guantanamo North before being released in 2006 under what advocates said were some of the country's strictest bail conditions, including 24-hour supervision and a GPS monitoring device. Harkat has denied the government's claim that he is associated with al-Qaeda. But he has struggled to defend himself without knowing all the charges against him. Sophie said both she and her husband have struggled to find employment due to the stigma surrounding the case. He currently works as a custodian at a church in Ottawa, but ongoing restrictions on his mobile phone and computer use has made that work more difficult, she added. "It feels absurd. It's really Kafkaesque," said Tim McSorley, national coordinator at the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, an advocacy organisation in Ottawa, about the security certificates system. Revisions

McSorley explained that security certificates are "applied as an anti-terrorism tool and because of that they are done in a large degree of secrecy". The accused in these cases are "not being charged with a crime, they're not going to a criminal court, they don't have the same rights to defend themselves", he told Al Jazeera. After mounting criticism and legal challenges to the system, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in 2007 that security certificates were unconstitutional. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++ On this #InternationalHumanRightsDay, the Liberal government must end the deportation to torture of Mohamed Harkat. Read the open letter sent to @BillBlair, from us, @AmnestyNow, @nccm and 19 others, calling for him & his govt to act immediately: #cdnpoli
— International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (@ICLMG) December 10, 2019 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++ But the court gave the government time to draft new legislation that would better address concerns about the rights of people held under the certificates. Ottawa passed a law a year later that instituted a few changes to the system, including the creation of a "special advocate" whose job it is "to protect the interests" of the accused. But McSorley said the special advocate is not a defence lawyer, and he or she cannot share much of the government's secret evidence with the accused. "Once the special advocate goes into the confidential hearings, they're not allowed to communicate any more with the defence," he said. After those changes were made, the Supreme Court in 2014 upheld both the revised security certificate system, and said the one issued against Harkat was "reasonable". After that decision, the government moved forward with plans to send Harkat back to Algeria. "It's really frustrating and infuriating to see that 17 years in the government is making no move to provide any more clarity as to what he's supposedly done and to allow him to defend himself," McSorley said. A 'balance'

The federal government defends its decision to place Harkat under a security certificate, however. "The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the constitutionality of the security certificates regime and the reasonableness of the security certificate issued against Mr Harkat," said Tim Warmington, a spokesman for Public Safety Canada, told Al Jazeera in an email. Although Warmington said the government ministry could not comment on specific removal orders, he stressed that "Canada has a robust assessment process and safeguards to ensure that no one is removed to risk of persecution." When people who hold refugee status are issued a deportation order, they can only be removed from Canada after a "Danger Opinion" is issued by a senior official at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, another government branch, said Warmington. In such cases, the official "must balance the risk of mistreatment in returning the person against the danger the person poses to the public if they remain in Canada", he explained. The UN's Refugee Convention protects refugees against forced returns to places they could face persecution, a process known as refoulement. But exceptions can be made if a refugee is deemed to pose a threat to the country in which he or she resettled, the convention states. In Canada, refugees who fail to pass the "Danger Opinion" and are subject to deportation from Canada may apply for judicial review and ask that their removal be suspended pending the court's decision. Harkat's lawyer, Barbara Jackman, told Al Jazeera she filed for a judicial review of his deportation order in November 2018. But the federal court still has not received all the information on which the government based its removal decision, she said, and without the complete record, it is unclear when the case will proceed. Jackman described the government's behaviour in Harkat's case as "perverse". "I think it's just face-saving," she said, about why she believes the government has not dropped the case. "I think that they spent so much money and invested so much in it that they can't be seen as saying, 'OK, this isn't well founded' … I think it's perverse in terms of what they're doing and how long they've been doing it." Risk of torture

Harkat's supporters have raised serious concerns that he could be tortured in Algeria should Canada follow through with his deportation. On December 10, human rights groups, unions and concerned Canadians sent a letter to the new public safety minister, Bill Blair, to ask for him to intervene to prevent Harkat's removal from the country. They said Canada would be putting Harkat's life in danger should it deport him to Algeria, which has a poor human rights record and where anti-government protests have been held regularly over the last year. Justin Mohamed, human rights law and policy campaigner at Amnesty International Canada, said the group is concerned Harkat would not have access to a fair trial and could be tortured in Algeria. "The nature of the Canadian allegations against him would render him subject to an unfair trial in Algeria," Mohamed told Al Jazeera. "Amnesty International is very concerned that the Algerian authorities don't comply with the international legal obligations concerning the prohibition of torture." For her part, Harkat's wife, Sophie, said it has been "extremely frustrating because the minister just has to sign a piece of paper and we can just move on with our lives". She said she prefers not to think about the possibility that her husband could be sent to Algeria. "Mo lives with that cloud every day over his head - constant. And he still has nightmares about it. I'm somewhat in denial; I don't want to discuss this," she told Al Jazeera. "If the government sends him back, they'll have blood on their hands." SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

VIDEO: Santa Claus visits the Public Safety Canada office

posted on December 20, 2019 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Date: December 10, 2019


PHOTOS: Santa Claus visits the Public Safety Canada office

posted on December 20, 2019 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Date: December 10, 2019 Thank you to all who came and participated especially Matthew Behrens who played Santa!

See more photos HERE

On this International Human Rights Day the Liberal Government Must Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture

posted on December 10, 2019 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Source: Press release Date: December 10, 2019 For immediate release On this International Human Rights Day, the Liberal Government Must Stop Mohamed Harkat’s Deportation to Torture

Dec. 10, 2019, OTTAWA – The Liberal government must live up to its word to end all complicity in torture, starting by putting an end to the deportation proceedings against Mohamed Harkat, writes a group of leading human rights and civil society organizations in a new letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. The letter is co-signed by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International Canada, and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). Nineteen other organizations and individuals from across the country have endorsed the letter. The letter is available online at: [link] December 10 is International Human Rights Day. This year marks the 17th anniversary of Mr. Harkat being placed under a security certificate, and the beginning of the ordeal which has continuously undermined his fundamental rights. He is currently facing deportation to Algeria, where he will be at risk of prolonged solitary confinement, forms of treatment that constitute torture or other ill treatment, and unfair trial based on the fact that he has been publicly identified and described by Canadian officials as a terrorism suspect and security threat. All of this is despite Mr. Harkat never being charged with, let alone convicted of a crime since arriving in Canada in 1995. The groups are calling on Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair to use powers granted to him under section 42.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow Mr. Harkat, who Canada recognizes as a refugee, to remain in Canada. They are also asking for an end to the security certificate regime overall. “Allowing Mr. Harkat to remain in Canada would send a clear message, at the very start of this new parliament, that defending human rights and eliminating mistreatment and torture go hand in hand with protecting the safety of people in Canada,” said Tim McSorley, National Coordinator of the ICLMG. “It is beyond cruel irony that Mohamed Harkat’s journey through so many years of injustice began on International Human Rights Day. As he marks the 17th anniversary of being subject to an immigration security certificate and facing the prospect of deportation to human rights violations, it is time – far past time – for the government to relent, lift the certificate, and let Mohamed get on with his life in Canada,” said Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada. “It is disgraceful that Mohamed Harkat has been under a security certificate for close to two decades. No one in Canada should be subject to what he has had to go through. When one of us can be detained without the kind of trial any Canadian would receive for 17 years, it affects our entire conception of our rights and freedoms,” said Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the NCCM. Contacts: Tim McSorley, ICLMG (613) 241-5298 national.coordination AT Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada (613) 744-7667 ext 236 lscholey AT

Open Letter to Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair

posted on December 10, 2019 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

December 10, 2019

The Honourable Bill Blair, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety
269 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Canada
K1A 0P8

Dear Minister Blair,

Today is December 10, International Human Rights Day. Ironically, it also marks the 17 th anniversary of Mohamed Harkat being placed under a security certificate, and the beginning of the ordeal which has continuously undermined his fundamental rights.

We believe it is urgent that you act on Mr. Harkat’s case. Having been recognized as a refugee in
Canada, Mr. Harkat has lived here for 24 years without ever being charged or convicted of a crime. Yet, because of the security certificate based on secretive information of questionable origin, Mr. Harkat continues to face deportation to Algeria where he will be at risk of prolonged solitary confinement, forms of treatment that constitute torture or other ill treatment, and unfair trial based on the fact that he has been publicly identified and described by Canadian officials as a terrorism suspect and security threat.

Our organizations have long decried the use of security certificates, which undermine the rights of the targeted individual by allowing information not normally considered “evidence” to be used against them, and preventing them or their counsel from accessing the whole case brought against them – essentially eliminating any hope of mounting an adequate and full defense.

We believe that security certificates should ultimately be eradicated from Canada’s legal system, and that instead the government should focus on prosecutions under the Criminal Code, which would serve to protect the rights of the accused as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international covenants, and in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. Despite this, security certificates were in fact significantly worsened through changes brought about with the adoption of the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015. Disappointingly, your government declined to address these issues in the recently passed National Security Act, 2017.

More immediately, we are writing because, as the new Minister of Public Safety, Mr. Harkat’s fate is in your hands. Under section 42.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the Minister of Public Safety is granted the power to allow Mr. Harkat to stay in Canada where it is not contrary to the national interest. The courts have consistently relaxed Mr. Harkat’s bail conditions over the years, and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service did not deem it necessary to file a risk assessment at Mr. Harkat’s bail hearing in the fall of 2017. As his work colleagues and supporters have attested, and as court assessments and psychiatrists have demonstrated, Mr. Harkat is committed to leading a peaceful life and letting him stay would not be contrary to Canada’s interests. Moreover, deporting a man to a risk of imprisonment and torture is clearly against Canada’s national interest, as well as its international

We have closely followed the case of Mohamed Harkat since it came to the public eye in 2002. Under the very problematic security certificate regime, Mr. Harkat was imprisoned in maximum security for 43 months, spent years under house arrest, and faced some of the strictest bail conditions in Canadian history. The original “evidence” against Mr. Harkat was destroyed and the allegations against him are based on the testimony of an informant who failed a lie detector test and was never cross-examined in court. Mr. Harkat has never been charged with, let alone convicted, of a crime.

Life under a security certificate has also had a profoundly negative impact on Mr. Harkat’s well-being. His arrest and time in solitary confinement, the severe conditions of his release and the threat of deportation to torture have resulted in chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and insomnia. Sophie Lamarche-Harkat, Mr. Harkat’s wife, has also spoken of the stress upon her, their household and their family of living with constant Canada Border Services Agency surveillance and the threat of losing a loved one. Throughout all this, Mr. Harkat has gained a community that cares about him deeply. For them, he is simply “Moe,” a loving and soft-spoken man who is always ready to help those around him. They have been living in constant fear since deportation proceedings began four years ago.

Beyond the current impacts of living under a security certificate on Mr. Harkat’s well-being, he faces a credible threat of imprisonment, abuse and torture if, as your government is seeking, he is deported to Algeria.

Amnesty International has noted that the Algerian Code of Criminal Procedure allows those charged
under anti-terrorism laws to be detained for up to 12 days without access to legal counsel or charge, and does not prohibit the use of confessions obtained under torture. Amnesty International has also reported on a case as recent as 2018, wherein a journalist was reportedly beaten and waterboarded, held in solitary confinement for over one month.

It is also important to note that courts in other countries, such as the UK in 2016 and Ireland in 2017, have recognized these concerns and barred their governments from deporting individuals to Algeria as the individuals concerned faced a substantial risk of torture.

On October 26, 2017, Prime Minister Trudeau clearly stated: “I hope people remember to demand of
governments, this one and all future governments, that nobody ever has their fundamental rights
violated either through inaction or deliberate action by Canadian governments. Nobody ever deserves to be tortured. And when a Canadian government is either complicit in that or was not active enough in preventing it, there needs to be responsibility taken.”

Consequently, we urge you, Minister Blair, to use this unique position and the discretion afforded under the law to exempt Mr. Harkat from deportation, end this 17-year ordeal and allow him to stay with his wife and community in Canada. Doing so would send a clear message, at the very start of your mandate, that defending human rights and eliminating mistreatment and torture go hand in hand with protecting the safety of people in Canada. It would also ensure that Canada upholds its commitments as a signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture. We do not want this government, or its successors, to have to once again apologize and pay compensation because your government refused to take the right action today.

We would appreciate a timely response to our letter, and if you would like more information or have any questions, we would be happy to meet with you to discuss it further.

Tim McSorley
National Coordinator
International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Alex Neve
Amnesty International Canada

Mustafa Farooq
Executive Director
National Council of Canadian Muslims

Endorsed by:
• Canadian Arab Federation
• Canadian Association of University Teachers
• Sofia Descalzi, National Chairperson
3Canadian Federation of Students
• Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
• Canadian Union of Postal Workers
• Council of Canadians
• Fred Hahn, President
CUPE Ontario
• Corey Balsam, National Coordinator
Independent Jewish Voices – Canada
• Inter Pares
• Gail Davidson, Executive Director
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
• Monia Mazigh
• National Union of Public and General Employees
• NoWar-Paix
• Ottawa Raging Grannies
• Peggy Mason, President
Rideau Institute on International Affairs
• Sharry Aiken, Associate Professor
Faculty of Law Queen’s University
• Socialist Action
• Matthew Behrens, Coordinator
Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
• Vancouver and District Labour Council

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