VIDEO: Stop the deportation to torture of Mohamed Harkat, Ottawa vigil, June 2018posted on July 04, 2018 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
URL: [link] Date: June 28, 2018 In this video of the event held in Ottawa on June 25, 2018 you will hear from the following speakers on why Canada must stop Moe's deportation now! - Matthew Behrens, Coordinator of Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture and Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada - Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada - Joel Harden, MPP for Ottawa Centre - Jo & Ria from the Ottawa Raging Grannies, the Justice for Harkat Support Committee - Tim McSorley, National Coordinator for the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG - CSILC) - Sophie Lamarche Harkat, Moe's wife and activist Here is the video of the whole rally on Youtube [link]
Thank you so much Anne for shooting and live streaming this event!
Judge loosens some of terror suspect Mohamed Harkat’s release conditionsposted on February 08, 2018 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Les conditions de libération de Mohamed Harkat sont assouplies, mais pas suffisamment à son goûtposted on February 08, 2018 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Un texte d'Angie Bonenfant Mohamed Harkat, 49 ans, fait l'objet d'un certificat de sécurité depuis 2002. Il est soupçonné d'être un agent dormant du réseau terroriste Al-Quaïda. Il est soumis à une surveillance étroite de l'Agence des services frontaliers du Canada (ASFC). Il doit, entre autres, se rapporter aux agents du ministère toutes les deux semaines. M. Harkat demandait à la cour de lui accorder une liberté de déplacement totale au Canada sans devoir avertir l'AFSC. Il souhaitait également se rapporter aux agents seulement une fois par mois, par téléphone. Dans un jugement de 55 pages, obtenu par Radio-Canada, la cour fédérale a rejeté la demande de Mohamed Harkat de se déplacer partout au Canada sans restriction. Cependant, elle lui a permis de voyager n'importe où au Québec et en Ontario pour une période de 72 heures sans devoir avertir les autorités. La cour lui accorde également la permission de se rapporter une fois par mois à l'AFSC, mais il devra le faire en personne. En plus d'une liberté complète de déplacement au Canada, M. Harkat qui réside dans la région de l'Outaouais demandait un accès plus large à l'internet. Présentement, M. Harkat a la permission d'utiliser à la maison un ordinateur ayant accès à internet, mais il aurait également voulu utiliser un ordinateur portable ou une tablette à l'extérieur de sa résidence. Sa demande a été rejetée. Toutefois, la cour serait encline à lui permettre l'utilisation d'une tablette ou d'un ordinateur portable en dehors de sa maison pour des motifs d'employabilité. Une déception
L'épouse de Mohamed Harkat, Sophie, s'est dite très déçue du jugement. « Au fil des années, mon mari a eu un comportement exemplaire. Le gouvernent n'a présenté aucune preuve prouvant la nécessité des conditions qui sont encore en place », a-t-elle déploré. « C'est une déception, mais nous n'avons pas le choix de vivre avec ça jusqu'à notre prochaine évaluation. » Même si la juge a assoupli certaines conditions de libération, son mari aura toujours de la difficulté à se trouver un bon emploi, plaide-t-elle. Elle aurait aimé, au moins, qu'il puisse utiliser un portable à l'extérieur de la maison. « C'est possible pour lui de se trouver un emploi même s'il n'a pas accès à un téléphone cellulaire et à l'internet, mais ça le limite énormément et ça le limite au niveau du salaire aussi », soutient-elle. M. Harkat a été arrêté en 2002 à Ottawa. Depuis, le gouvernement canadien cherche à le renvoyer dans son pays d'origine, l'Algérie. Les autorités croient qu'il représente une menace à la sécurité nationale. M. Harkat nie être un agent terroriste et prétend qu'il sera torturé s'il est déporté en Algérie. Mohamed Harkat, quelques dates clés
2002- Mohammed Harkat est arrêté le 10 décembre, à Ottawa, en vertu d'un certificat de sécurité. Les autorités canadiennes le soupçonnent d'être un agent dormant du réseau terroriste al-Qaïda.
2006- Mohammed Harkat, qui est en détention depuis son arrestation, est remis en liberté sous des conditions très strictes. Il doit porter un bracelet qui surveille tous ses déplacements 24 heures sur 24.
2010- En Cour fédérale, Mohammed Harkat remet en question la validité du certificat dont il fait l'objet. Toutefois, le 9 décembre, la cour juge que le gouvernement a de bonnes raisons de croire qu'il est une menace pour la sécurité nationale et confirme la validité du certificat.
2013- Après l'avoir porté pendant sept ans, Mohammed Harkat se fait retirer son bracelet GPS. Le 7 juillet, la Cour fédérale considère que le danger initial associé au résident d'Ottawa est assez faible pour lui accorder cette faveur. Le certificat de sécurité est maintenu.
2017- Mohammed Harkat souhaite qu'on assouplisse ses conditions de détention. Il aimerait, en autres, avoir une liberté de mouvement totale au Canada et un accès plus large à l'internet. La Cour fédérale refuse sa demande.
Tous droits réservés © Société Radio-Canada 2018.
VIDEO: 15th Anniversary Press Conferenceposted on January 16, 2018 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
ICLMG's National Coordinator, Tim McSorley, Amnesty International Canada's Program Manager, Hilary Homes, National Council of Canadian Muslims' Executive Director, Ihsaan Gardee, author and human rights activist (and wife of torture survivor Maher Arar) Monia Mazigh, and Coordinator of Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture and Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada and writer, Matthew Behrens, spoke at the press conference on Parliament Hill, Ottawa.
PHOTOS: 15th Anniversary Rally and Press conferenceposted on December 11, 2017 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Matthew Behrens shares a quote from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Mohamed Harkat and wife Sophie Harkat look on. Ottawa. December 8, 2017.
See more photos of the event.
All photos by Anne Dagenais Guertin and used with permission. 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 a responsibility taken. --Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, October 26, 2017
Kafka's Canada at 15: The secret trials of Mohamed Harkatposted on December 01, 2017 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Even worse, the security certificate represents the lower rung of a two-tier justice that employs the lowest standards available, while anything not normally admissible in a court of law can be used in these cases (which means one is no longer in a court of law). It only applies to refugees and permanent residents, and ultimately can result in deportation to a country where the scarlet letter of "security threat" means an immediate booking in the nearest torture centre.
The process under which Harkat was arrested on Human Rights Day in 2002 was finally declared unconstitutional in 2007, but not before he spent a harrowing 3.5 years behind bars, including at the infamous Guantanamo North facility especially built for secret trial detainees on the grounds of Kingston's Millhaven Penitentiary.
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Terror Suspect Mohamed Harkat Unlikely To Commit Violent Acts, Psychiatrist Saysposted on November 18, 2017 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Mohamed Harkat. November 16, 2017. Photo by Sean Kilpatrick (CP)
Mohamed Harkat is asking for authorities to loosen his restrictions.OTTAWA — A psychiatrist who has treated terror suspect Mohamed Harkat for the last eight years says the refugee from Algeria is unlikely to commit violent acts. Dr. Colin Cameron told a Federal Court of Canada hearing Friday on Harkat's release conditions that his patient supports democracy and expresses revulsion about terrorist attacks. "I'm trained to be very skeptical of people," Cameron told the court. "I've asked a lot of pointed questions to him." Harkat, who is closely monitored by Canadian border agency officials, wants general permission to use the internet outside his family home and to travel freely within Canada. Authorities are asking the court to deny the requests and make only minor modifications to existing conditions, saying Harkat continues to pose a threat almost 15 years after being arrested. As the two-day hearing wrapped up Friday, Justice Sylvie Roussel said she planned to issue a decision soon on whether to relax current restrictions. Denies involvement in terrorism
Harkat, 49, was taken into custody in Ottawa in December 2002 on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent but he denies any involvement in terrorism. The federal government is trying to deport the former pizza-delivery man using a national security certificate — a legal tool for removing non-citizens suspected of ties to extremism or espionage. He fears he will be tortured if returned to his Algerian homeland, something Cameron says Harkat has frequent nightmares about. Federal Court Justice Simon Noel ruled in 2010 that there were grounds to believe Harkat is a security threat who maintained ties to Osama bin Laden's terror network after coming to Canada. Federal lawyer David Tyndale repeatedly cited Noel's findings as justification for vigilance concerning Harkat. Lives under specific conditions
Harkat was released from custody in June 2006 under stringent conditions that have since been loosened to a degree. He now lives at home with his wife, Sophie, and has access to a computer connected to the internet at their residence. He has to report in person to the Canada Border Services Agency every two weeks. Although Harkat can travel within Canada, he must provide the border agency with five days' notice of his plans as well as a full itinerary when leaving the national capital region. He also has to report to the border agency by phone once a day while travelling. Border services officers have followed the couple on trips to a cottage and to the funeral of Sophie's grandmother. Wants level of supervision reassessed
Barb Jackman, Harkat's lawyer, objected to the level of scrutiny and said there was nothing to indicate Harkat poses an actual danger. "I think there's got to be some evidence of a threat to the security of Canada," she said during Friday's hearing. "Over time, we have to look at things again, in an objective way." Roussel asked Tyndale if there was a way to avoid intrusive surveillance of family outings, or if there were no exceptions to the monitoring routine. Tyndale suggested that tracking Harkat to the out-of-town funeral was not beyond the scope of the border agency's duties. When someone is flagged by a security certificate as inadmissible to Canada, "some upsetting things are going to happen in your life," he added. Officials willing to allow some concessions
Harkat wants permission to have a laptop computer and tablet with internet connectivity for use outside the home, including for work purposes. He wishes to report to the border agency monthly by phone, through voice verification. And he wants restrictions on his travel lifted, with the exception that he remain in Canada.
Authorities are willing to allow Harkat to travel anywhere in Ontario or Quebec for up to 24 hours without notifying the border agency, and agree to him reporting in person once a month.
But they oppose the idea of Harkat having general internet access outside the home, saying it would hinder their ability to keep tabs on his communications. They say requests to use communications technology for work purposes should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
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Mohamed Harkat seeks relaxation of strict monitoringposted on November 16, 2017 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
Federal authorities are balking at terror suspect Mohamed Harkat's desire for more leeway to use the internet and travel freely within Canada, saying he continues to pose a threat almost 15 years after being arrested. Harkat is asking the Federal Court of Canada to approve his application for less strict monitoring of his everyday activities by the Canada Border Services Agency as he awaits the outcome of his protracted legal saga. A two-day court hearing begins today to determine whether current restrictions on the Algerian refugee will be eased. Harkat, 49, was taken into custody in Ottawa in December 2002 on suspicion of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent. The federal government is trying to deport the former pizza-delivery man to Algeria using a national security certificate — a legal tool for removing non-citizens suspected of ties to extremism or espionage. Harkat fears he will be imprisoned and tortured if returned to his homeland. Related
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Following his arrest, Harkat was locked up for more than three years. He was released in June 2006 under stringent conditions that have since been relaxed somewhat. Harkat now lives at home with wife Sophie. He has access to a computer connected to the internet at his residence. He has to report in person to the border services agency every two weeks. And though Harkat can travel within Canada, he must provide the border agency with five days' notice of his plans as well as a full itinerary when leaving the national capital. He also has to report to the border agency by phone once a day while travelling. Harkat says he's not a threat
Harkat's submission to the court argues he "presents no threat to Canada or to any person" and that he has diligently complied with conditions for more than a decade. "A continuation of these conditions is not justified." The couple says the restrictions now in place have caused great stress and hardship, even preventing them from having children. Harkat wants permission to have a mobile phone, laptop computer and tablet with internet connectivity for use outside the home. He wishes to report to the border agency monthly by phone, through voice verification. And he wants restrictions on his travel lifted, with the exception that he remain in Canada. Authorities are willing to allow Harkat to travel anywhere in Ontario or Quebec for up to 24 hours without notifying the border agency, and agree to him reporting in person once a month. But they oppose the idea of Harkat having internet access outside the home, saying it would undermine their ability to keep tabs on his communications. In a submission to the court, the ministers of public safety and immigration say an October 2016 assessment by the border services agency concluded that any risks are neutralized by Harkat's compliance with the existing terms and conditions. "The fact that there is no new information linking Mr. Harkat to threat-related information activities does not warrant the variations he is requesting," the federal submission says. "The Ministers have not changed their position that Mr. Harkat remains a threat." Trudeau's brother has written on Harkat's behalf
Federal Court Justice Simon Noel ruled in 2010 that there were grounds to believe Harkat is a security threat who maintained ties to Osama bin Laden's terror network after coming to Canada. Civil libertarians have long criticized the security certificate process as fundamentally unjust because the detainee sees only a summary of the accusations, making it difficult to challenge them. In a 2014 ruling, the Supreme Court of Canada said the security certificate regime does not violate the person's right to know and contest the allegations they face. However, the high court provided detailed guidance on applying the process to ensure it is fair. The Supreme Court also concluded Harkat "benefited from a fair process" when Noel reviewed his case. Harkat's file continues to grind along. The border agency is in the process of seeking a "danger opinion" as a step toward deportation. A delegate of the immigration minister will determine whether Harkat poses a danger to national security and, if so, whether the risk to Harkat of removing him outweighs the danger or severity of the acts he allegedly committed. Many supporters, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's brother, Alexandre, have written to the government on Harkat's behalf over the years. © The Canadian Press, 2017
Fatally Flawed Anti-Torture Assurancesposted on June 14, 2017 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink
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