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CAIR-CAN Applauds Court Decision on Security Certificates


(OTTAWA, CANADA – February 23, 2007) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) applauds the Supreme Court judgment striking down the Security Certificates process made today. The top court ruled that Security Certificates are unconstitutional as they are inconsistent with a number of Charter rights, including fundamental justice, the right not to be arbitrarily detained and the right to a fair defense. The government now has one year to enact legislation that is consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Security Certificates have been subject to heavy criticism for allowing indefinite detention, the use of secret evidence in trials, and possible deportation to torture. A wide range of groups, nationally and internationally, have criticized the certificate including the Canadian Bar Association, Amnesty International and the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

Today is an extraordinary day in Canadian history. The Supreme Court has unequivocally and unanimously reaffirmed the rights of all people to fairness and justice in Canada.

The Supreme Court has sent a clear message that Parliament must act with clarity, deliberation and respect for the Charter, while drafting new legislation in a timely manner. The government cannot morally continue with the Security Certificates procedure as it has been deemed unconstitutional.

Our country’s safety and security are paramount; however, legislation like the Anti-Terrorism Act and tools such as Security Certificates cannot be enacted or used in contravention of fundamental human rights,” said Karl Nickner, Executive Director of CAIR-CAN.

CAIR-CAN was an intervener in the Security Certificates challenge at the Supreme Court.

CONTACT: Sarah Elgazzar, CAIR-CAN Spokesperson at 514.776.6566, Sameer Zuberi, CAIR-CAN Communications Coordinator at 613.795.2012, Karl Nickner, CAIR-CAN Executive Director at 613.254.9704 or 613.853.4111, or Faisal Kutty, CAIR-CAN Vice-Chair and Legal Counsel at 416.301.5743.


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