Presbytery demands fairness in security certificate hearings

posted on May 05, 2008 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Andrew Duffy
Source: The Ottawa Citizen
URL: [link]
Date: May 04, 2008

The Ottawa Presbytery of the United Church of Canada has called on the federal government to offer fair trials to the five men -- including Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat -- who now face secretive security certificate hearings.

The security certificate legislation, which was redrafted earlier this year, gives the federal government the right to arrest and detain foreign-born terror suspects. Canadian citizens must be charged under the Criminal Code if they are suspected of terrorist activity.

In an open letter, Rick Balson, chairman of the Ottawa presbytery, says it is immoral to apply lesser human rights standards to non-citizens: "By this security certificate legislation, we risk repeating the mistakes made when we forced the deportation of Japanese in World War Two and incarcerated many new Canadians during and after World War One."

© The Ottawa Citizen 2008