The Liberals and the Charter: don’t deport Harkat to torture

posted on October 27, 2015 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Chantal Sundaram Source: International Socialists URL: [link] Date: October 27, 2015 It is not a coincidence that Mohamed Harkat received his deportation papers in the middle of the federal election campaign. Though it may have been eclipsed by the niqab debate, the affidavit for Harkat`s deportation to Algeria, and most certainly to torture, was yet another indication of Harper`s deliberate stoking of Islamophobia. The deportation is the consequence of a “Security Certificate,” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allows for the imprisonment in Canada of refugees and permanent residents without charge. Security Certificates allow for secret trials in which evidence is not disclosed to the detainees or their lawyers, and the full right to appeal is denied in a process that uses the lowest standard of proof of any court in Canada. And, they allow the ultimate injustice: deportation without charge to unfair imprisonment, torture or death. But on October 19, voters sent a strong signal that they reject the overt Islamophobia and warmongering of the Tories. The Liberal withdrawal of Canada`s fighter jets from the Iraq-Syria mission was the first follow-through on that election mandate. The public sentiment demonstrated in the election is also a new opportunity to relaunch a movement to defend and regain civil liberties in this country. But it will take public support and pressure to push the Liberals on this front. They voted for Bill C-51, and did not condemn last year’s second Supreme Court of Canada decision that deemed Security Certificates "imperfect," and secret hearings "uncomfortable," but still constitutional.

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