CAIR-CAN: Demand Change to Security Certifcate Process
(OTTAWA, CANADA – 8/11/2004) – CAIR-CAN is calling on all Canadians of
conscience to demand that our government overhaul the current security
certificate process to make it comply with international human rights
The call marks the first hearing in the Federal Court of Appeal of Adil
Charkaoui’s (an individual held under the process) constitutional challenge
to the security certificate process.
Security certificates have been soundly condemned by human rights and
social justice advocates. Recently, more than 60 law experts and legal
associations in Canada, including the Canadian Bar Association, sent a
letter to the Minister of Public Safety Anne McLellan to express their
grave concerns with the legal process of security certificates.
HOW DO SECURITY CERTIFICATES WORK?
The process begins with the Solicitor-General and the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration signing a security certificate alleging that a
non-citizen presents a risk to national security.
The person may then be immediately arrested and jailed, often for years, as
the government takes steps to seek his or her removal.
Currently, there are at least five people in Canada – all Arabs or Muslims
– who have been subject to security-certificate procedures on the basis of
alleged links to terrorism: Muhammad Mahjoub (since June, 2000); Mahmoud
Jaballah (August, 2001); Hassan Almrei (October, 2001); Mohamed Harkat
(December, 2002); and Adil Charkaoui (May, 2003).
The court process of reviewing the certificates is held in secret. Our
government is not required to disclose the precise nature of the
allegations; and normal rules of evidence are dispensed with, including the
right to cross-examine witnesses and to challenge evidence obtained through
normally unacceptable means, such as hearsay or even torture.
Without knowing and being able to challenge the specific allegations and
evidence against a person, it is nearly impossible to mount an accurate,
People held under security certificates can be deported to face torture.
VOICE your concerns about the security certificate process by calling or
e-mailing the following Ministers:
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Telephone: (613) 992-4524
Fax (613) 943-0044
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Telephone: (613) 992-7774
Fax (613) 947-8319
Minister of Justice
Telephone: (613) 995-0121
Fax (613) 992-6762
* That the five individuals held under security certificates be either
released or given a fair trial in accordance with international human
* That the individuals not be deported. Amnesty International has
recognized that all five face torture and human rights abuses if deported.
* That the security certificate process be overhauled to make it comply
with international human rights standards.
COPY Canada@cair-net.org on your correspondence
Council on American-Islamic Relations CANADA
P.O. Box 13219, Ottawa, ONT, K2K 1X4