Group protests use of security certificates

posted on November 10, 2004 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Original author: CBC News Staff
Source: CBC.CA
Date: November 8, 2004

OTTAWA - Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside a Federal Court building in downtown Ottawa Monday to protest against Canada's security-certificate process.

That's the law the federal government can use to detain non-citizens on suspicion of terrorist ties, and deport them without revealing the evidence against them.

Lawyers for a Moroccan man, Adil Charkaoui, challenged the process, Monday, in Federal Court. Charkaoui has been held in jail under a security certificate since May 2003

Supporters of that challenge include Monia Mazigh, the wife of Maher Arar, the Syrian-born Canadian who was held in a Syrian jail for a year because of alleged ties to Al-Queda.The Syrians didn't reveal what evidence they had against him before finally letting him go.

Mazigh says what Canada is doing with its security-certificate system is no better.

"We want those people to be given the right to defend themselves," Mazigh says. "You know we are an open society. We are a democratic society, and we want this to apply on everyone. How can we go and defend human rights abroad in Darfur, in Iran, and other countries if we don't start by our country here?"

Six men are currently being held on security certificates, some of whom have been detained for up to two years.

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