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CAIR-CAN Granted ‘Intervenor Status’ on Detainee Case


(OTTAWA, CANADA – April 4, 2007) The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN), the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) and the Canadian Muslim Civil Liberties Association (CMCLA) have been granted intervenor status at the inquiry into the cases of three Canadians who were wrongfully detained and tortured, between 2001 and 2004, in Syria and Egypt.

Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin believe their detention and torture was the result of false information being shared with Canadian officials and foreign governments. The inquiry will be presided over by former Supreme Court Justice the Honourable Frank Iacobucci.

“The Iacobucci Inquiry is a necessary follow-up to Arar. Justice Denis O’Connor’s recommendations have yet to be implemented by the current government; the most important, establishing review bodies for the RCMP and all security agencies, so their practices and procedures can be scrutinized,” said Karl Nickner, Executive Director of CAIR-CAN.

“Iacobucci’s Inquiry will help bring fairness and justice to Canadian Arabs and Muslims, the first victims of “the war on terror” and overzealous security practices.”

“Racial and religious profiling of Canadian Arabs and Muslims by government agencies cannot continue,” said Mohamed Boudjenane, CAF’s Executive Director.

“We hope the inquiry will outline measures to increase confidence in Canada’s security agencies. The level of trust that Canadians of Arab and Muslim heritage have for CSIS and the RCMP is at an all time low,” said Faisal Kutty, legal counsel for CAIR-CAN and CMCLA.

Additionally, CAIR-CAN, CAF and CMCLA are calling for a government inquiry into the cases of Torontonian Benamar Benatta, an Algerian air force defector held by U.S. authorities on suspicions of terrorism for almost five years, and Montréaler Mohamed Omary, detained by the Moroccan government for two years. Both applied to be heard at the Iacobucci Inquiry alleging that Canadian officials had a hand in their detention; however, the inquiry’s restricted government mandate prevented their cases from being heard.


CONTACT: CAIR-CAN: Sameer Zuberi, Communications Coordinator at 613-795-2012; CAF: Mohamed Boudjenane, Executive Director at 416-889-6764; CMCLA: Faisal Kutty, Legal Counsel at 416-647-4178


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