CAIR-CAN APPLAUDS GOVERNMENT SETTLEMENT WITH MAHER ARAR
(OTTAWA, CANADA, 1/26/07) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) applauds the settlement reached today with Maher Arar over his illegal detention and torture in Syria after the RCMP wrongly labeled him an Islamic extremist.
The settlement comes after two reports were handed down by Justice Dennis O’Connor. The first detailed how the RCMP passed false information to American officials; the second outlined the urgent need for an RCMP review body.
“Today’s settlement is a victory for Maher Arar, his family and all Canadians.
“By agreeing to settle with Mr. Arar, the government of Canada has acknowledged it failed to protect the human rights and civil liberties of a Canadian citizen.
“The government must fulfill its promise and continue to pursue all diplomatic efforts to have Maher Arar’s name removed from American security lists. In addition, all Canadian officials involved in Mr. Arar’s deportation and torture must be held accountable,” said CAIR-CAN Executive Director Karl Nickner.
Since Justice O’Connor’s second report, an inquiry has been struck into the overseas detention and torture of three men: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin. All claim to have gone through circumstances similar to that of Mr. Arar’s.
“It is vital the recommendations of the Arar Report be implemented, including the establishment of a review body for the RCMP, and that the second inquiry proceed, so what happened to Maher Arar does not happen again,” added Nickner
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CONTACT: Sameer Zuberi, Communications and Human Rights Coordinator, 613.795.2012 or Karl Nickner, Executive Director, 613.853.4111