Canada's Syrian connection

posted on August 31, 2005 | in Category Canada | PermaLink

Original author: Alex Neve
Source: The Globe and Mail
URL: [link] (subscribers only)
Date: August 31, 2005

No one can now say that what happened to Maher Arar in the U.S. and Syria in 2002/2003 was an unfortunate misadventure beyond Canada's control, or the result of a series of mistakes due to poor training or inadequate resources. Abdullah Almalki and Ahmad El Maati's harrowing descriptions in this newspaper of arrest, torture and months of imprisonment without charge in Syria and Egypt make that wrenchingly clear.

Considered alongside testimony of imprisonment and torture in Syria provided by Muayyed Nureddin last year, it adds up to this: These are not tragic coincidences. Throughout 2001, 2002 and 2003, something was at play. A number of Canadians suspected as possible supporters of terrorist activities, either on the basis of undisclosed allegations or by virtue of whom they knew, ended up in foreign jails where torturers did their work -- with the apparent indifference of Canadian security agencies. Who allowed this to happen? And why?

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