Mahjoub Zeki Mahjoub was accepted as a refugee to Canada in 1996, after fleeing political persecution and human rights violations in Egypt. In June 2000, he was arrested under a "security certificate" and he has been detained or held under house arrest ever since. A "security certificate" allows the government to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial on secret information, and eventually to deport them even if there is risk of torture or death. This unjust process only applies to immigrants, subjecting them to a lower level of justice than citizens in Canada. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the security certificate process was unconstitutional in 2007, but the government brought in virtually identical legislation in 2008. The struggle continues.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) plays a quiet but key role in creating a climate of fear and suspicion. Under cover of "national security", much of what CSIS does is shielded from public scrutiny. This has allowed it to act with virtual impunity. The People's Commission set up CSIS Watch to monitor CSIS and encourage solidarity among communities harassed and targeted by CSIS.
Abousfian Abdelrazik was arrested on the recommendation of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) while on a visit to Sudan. Never charged, he was beaten and threatened during two periods of detention. In this context, Abdelrazik was interrogated by CSIS officials. After his sixth year in exile, the government was finally forced by the Federal Court to allow Abdelrazik to return to Canada. On 27 June 2009, Abdelrazik returned to Montreal and was reunited with his family at last. However, his struggle is not over. He must now seek to get his name off the UN's notoriously unfair 1267 list, seek accountability, and get his life back to normal.
Ivan Apaolaza Sancho, a 36-year old Basque refugee claimant and political prisoner, was detained at the Rivière-des-Prairies prison in June 2007. Ivan was deported to Spain on the basis of "confession" made by a Basque woman under torture while she was held incommunicado by Spanish police.
From Omar Khadr in Guantanamo Bay to Ivan Apaolaza Sancho, who was held at RDP prison in Montreal for over a year and deported on the basis of information obtained under torture, to Hassan Almrei, a security certificate victim in Ontario who has been detained without charge for almost seven years under threat of being deported to face torture in Syria, Canadian officials are involved in torture.
This is part of a dangerous trend to deny some people their most fundamental human rights, ironically, in the name of "security" and even "civilization". Public ignorance, political exclusion and racism have allowed this to continue for far too long.
Contact the People's Commission Network: email@example.com QPIRG Concordia - Peoples's Commission Network c/o Concordia University 1455 de Maisonneuve Ouest Montreal, QC, H3G 1M8
This website is based on the Fluid 960 Grid System