NO-FLY LIST NEEDS SCRUTINIZING
(Ottawa, Canada – Nov 6, 2006) – The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) is calling upon legislators to carefully review and scrutinize the federal government’s proposed no-fly list, also known as “Passenger Protect.” The program’s regulations, which lists persons who may pose an immediate threat to aviation security should they attempt to board flights, is currently open to a 75-day period of public comment.
Passenger Protect will be administered by a Transport Canada-led advisory group. The group will create a “Specified Persons List” with classified information provided by CSIS and the RCMP. Both organizations have come under increasing criticism in their handling of national security matters post-2001. The RCMP and CSIS were cited in the recent Arar Inquiry Report, with the RCMP fingered as documenting and passing on faulty information, likely leading to the detention and overseas torture of Maher Arar.
“The Passenger Protect Program needs work on many levels. It’s questionable how individuals named under the Specified Persons List can freely walk on the street when they are deemed to be an immediate threat to aviation security,” said Karl Knicker, Executive Director of CAIR-CAN.
Currently, there are no systems proposed that will allow passengers to access information and determine if they are on the Specified Persons List.
“Secret information, not scrutinized by Canadian courts, will be used to build Passenger Protect. In a post-9/11 context, it is obvious how the no-fly list presents the real possibility of religious and racial profiling,” he added.
CONTACT: CAIR-CAN Communications and Human Rights Coordinator Sameer Zuberi at 613-795-2012, or CAIR-CAN Executive Director Karl Nickner at 613-254-9704 or 613-853-4111