On this International Human Rights Day the Liberal Government Must Stop Mohamed Harkat's Deportation to Torture

posted on December 10, 2019 | in Category Mohamed Harkat | PermaLink

Source: Press release Date: December 10, 2019 For immediate release On this International Human Rights Day, the Liberal Government Must Stop Mohamed Harkat’s Deportation to Torture

Dec. 10, 2019, OTTAWA – The Liberal government must live up to its word to end all complicity in torture, starting by putting an end to the deportation proceedings against Mohamed Harkat, writes a group of leading human rights and civil society organizations in a new letter to Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. The letter is co-signed by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), Amnesty International Canada, and the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). Nineteen other organizations and individuals from across the country have endorsed the letter. The letter is available online at: [link] December 10 is International Human Rights Day. This year marks the 17th anniversary of Mr. Harkat being placed under a security certificate, and the beginning of the ordeal which has continuously undermined his fundamental rights. He is currently facing deportation to Algeria, where he will be at risk of prolonged solitary confinement, forms of treatment that constitute torture or other ill treatment, and unfair trial based on the fact that he has been publicly identified and described by Canadian officials as a terrorism suspect and security threat. All of this is despite Mr. Harkat never being charged with, let alone convicted of a crime since arriving in Canada in 1995. The groups are calling on Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair to use powers granted to him under section 42.1(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to allow Mr. Harkat, who Canada recognizes as a refugee, to remain in Canada. They are also asking for an end to the security certificate regime overall. “Allowing Mr. Harkat to remain in Canada would send a clear message, at the very start of this new parliament, that defending human rights and eliminating mistreatment and torture go hand in hand with protecting the safety of people in Canada,” said Tim McSorley, National Coordinator of the ICLMG. “It is beyond cruel irony that Mohamed Harkat’s journey through so many years of injustice began on International Human Rights Day. As he marks the 17th anniversary of being subject to an immigration security certificate and facing the prospect of deportation to human rights violations, it is time – far past time – for the government to relent, lift the certificate, and let Mohamed get on with his life in Canada,” said Alex Neve, Secretary-General of Amnesty International Canada. “It is disgraceful that Mohamed Harkat has been under a security certificate for close to two decades. No one in Canada should be subject to what he has had to go through. When one of us can be detained without the kind of trial any Canadian would receive for 17 years, it affects our entire conception of our rights and freedoms,” said Mustafa Farooq, Executive Director of the NCCM. Contacts: Tim McSorley, ICLMG (613) 241-5298 national.coordination AT iclmg.ca Lucy Scholey, Amnesty International Canada (613) 744-7667 ext 236 lscholey AT amnesty.ca


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