Group Protests Security Certificates in Ottawa (CTV NEWS)

posted on November 01, 2003 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

URL: [link]
Date: Oct 31 2003

Four people have been charged following a demonstration outside CSIS headquarters in Ottawa. The protesters were rallying against the security certificates used to arrest five Muslim men currently being held behind bars.

Similar protests were held in eight other cities across Canada by the so-called costume crusaders. The security certificate system allows Canadian police to arrest and imprison anyone deemed a threat to national security -- without charge or bail.

Mohamed Harkat, is one of the five being held. He's accused of being a sleeper agent for al Qaeda, but his wife said he's innocent and wants him released.

"We're here to tell CSIS that we don't agree with the process and we don't agree with the security certificate. We want to make sure they don't issue any more of those security certificates because that goes against basic human rights, basic justice," Sophie Harkat said.

Sophie was in the news earlier this week when she responded to reports that Maher Arar gave information about her husband and three other Canadians when he was being held in a Syrian jail.

Arar is the Canadian who was returning home from a visit to Tunisia last fall, when he was detained in New York. American authorities deported him to Syria, where he was jailed for a year without charge.

Arar, a dual Canadian-Syrian citizen, was released earlier this month and returned to Ottawa where he lives with his wife and two children.

Last week, sources told CTV News that Arar was released by the Syrians after providing information about al Qaeda, and four Canadians currently being held in jail.

"I don't know if Mr. Arar has made those comments. I wish that he came out publicly to clear his own reputation and to do it also for the name of these four other men who are suffering through these allegations," Sophie said on Monday.

Along with other protesters, she marched to the Prime Minister's Office to press her demand for the abolition of Canada's security certificate process back in August. Under the system any evidence against the suspected terrorist is withheld from family, friends and even lawyers.