Amid security certificate headaches, government quietly studies alternativesposted on January 28, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Source: The Winnipeg Free Press
Date: January 27, 2011
OTTAWA - The government is quietly studying alternatives to deporting terrorism suspects under the much-maligned national security certificate as attempts to remove them get bogged down in the courts.
The effort reflects candid federal admissions that it's almost impossible to send non-citizens with alleged terror links to their home countries because they may be tortured or killed.
Currently, three people arrested under security certificates — Mohamed Harkat of Algeria, and Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, both from Egypt — are out on bail under strict surveillance as their cases slowly grind through the courts.
Harkat was recently served with a deportation order, but his lawyers argue he should not be removed while the security certificate system is still under judicial review.
A federal interdepartmental body known as the Alternatives to Removal Working Group began meeting in March 2009 to explore policy options for managing people deemed a threat to national security, documents disclosed under the Access to Information Act show.
The group, which includes the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Canada Border Services Agency, Justice, Public Safety and Foreign Affairs, has "produced a detailed body of work" on tools available under the law, says one internal memo.
[ Read the rest ... ]
Une pétition pour abolir les certificats de sécuritéposted on January 21, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Date: 18 janvier 2011
Le comité Justice pour Mohamed Harkat lance une pétition en ligne pour réclamer l'abolition des certificats de sécurité au Canada.
La cour fédérale a confirmé en décembre la validité du certificat de sécurité dont il fait l'objet, en raison de ses liens avec des terroristes et des extrémistes islamistes reconnus, dont le réseau Al-Qaïda.
Les avocats du citoyen d'Ottawa ont décidé de contester le jugement du juge Simon Noël et évoquent maintenant la possibilité de porter l'affaire en Cour suprême.
La femme de Mohamed Harkat, Sophie, ajoute de son côté que le comité tente de mobiliser la population contre les certificats de sécurité. « On trouve que la loi est anticonstitutionnelle et qu'elle doit être abolie complètement. On trouve que des procédures secrètes n'ont pas leur place dans la démocratie au Canada », dit-elle.
Amnistie internationale, Maher Arar, Monia Mazigh et Alexandre Trudeau sont au nombre des 1000 personnes et organismes qui ont signé la pétition jusqu'à présent.
TOUS DROITS RÉSERVÉS © CBC/RADIO-CANADA 2010
Harkat Once Again Challenging Certificatesposted on January 14, 2011 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Source: CFRA News
Date: January 13, 2011
Mohamed Harkat wants the Federal Court of Appeal to review the country's security certificate system.
Investigators used the controversial item in December 2002 to detain the Ottawa resident.
Harkat was suspected of being an al-Qaida sleeper agent.
Judge Simon Noel ruled last month that the former pizza delivery man maintained ties to the global terror organization.
He also decided that the certificates were constitutionally valid.
Harkat's lawyers suggest the documents - which can be employed as part of deportation procedures - might not be consistent with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
They argue, among other things, that special advocates fail to ensure the process is constitutional.
The watchdog officials were added following a 2007 Supreme Court declaration.
Harkat denies any terrorism claims.
The 42-year-old has previously stated that a forced return to Algeria will lead to torture.
The federal government will reply to all legal statements before Judge Noel announces whether he'll submit any questions to the appellate court.
© 2010 CTVglobemedia All Rights Reserved.
Recommended Website: www.SecretTrial5.composted on December 31, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
The documentary is not completed yet. It's a work in progress. It will examine the human impact of security certificates in Canada. It is also a "crowd-funded" project which is very cool. Visit the filmmaker's Website to learn more.
An Unjust Law Can Only Give Rise to Injustice and Breach of Rightsposted on December 30, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Security Certificates and Indefinite Detentions An Unjust Law Can Only Give Rise to Injustice and Breach of Rights
(version française en dessous)
The three Federal Court rulings of December 9, 2010, concerning the reasonability of the Security Certificate against Mohamed Harkat exposes the injustice and horror of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, of the Security Certificate and, above all, the hyprocrisy of "Canadian democracy" according to which any breach of human rights is possible.
With these rulings, the Federal Court aims at enshrining in law the arbitrariness and impunity of State organs of repression and of the political police, in particular the Canadian Intelligence and Security Service; the abuse of power and of procedure against entire collectives; the constitutionality of unjust laws, i.e. its conformity to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, itself an archaic document which neither stipulates nor defends any rights whatsoever; as well as deportation to torture, to disappearance or to death.
Since its creation, the Security Certificate is and remains an instrument of medievalism which violates human rights, which has no place in a modern society, which does nothing to protect the security of Canadians and which, on the contrary, threatens this very security. This violation of rights is unanimously condemned by the Canadian people who denounce it and demand that it be abolished. In February 2008, the Canadian government was forced to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act as well as the Security Certificate, replacing one unjust and unconstitutional law by another.
Unjust laws can only give rise to injustice and breach of rights.
This ruling by the Federal Court is entirely based on "probability of belief" and on secret information and intelligence "inadmissible to justice" put forward within the context of secret hearings and which no one can see or can ever see, especially not Mohamed Harkat and his lawyers.
The Security Certificate and its so-called reasonableness in the case of Mohamed Harkat, and which leads to torture, to disappearance or to death, are declared to be in conformity with "fundamental justice." To come to this conclusion, the Federal Court simply replaced the words "fundamental justice" in the Charter with "national security," without further explanation.
What this ruling cannot hide is the fact that an unjust law can only give rise to injustice and that a breach of rights is simply that: a breach of rights.
Abolish Security Certificates!
Justice for Mohamed Harkat!
===== Les certificats de sécurité et les détentions indéfinies Une loi injuste ne peut donner que des résultats injustes et la violation des droits
par Christian Legeais
Les trois jugements de la Cour fédérale du 9 décembre 2010 concernant la raisonnabilité du certificat de sécurité dans le cas de Mohamed Harkat exposent l'injustice et l'horreur de la Loi sur l'immigration et la protection des réfugiés (LIPR) et du certificat de sécurité, et surtout l'hypocrisie de la « voie canadienne » où toutes les violations des droits humains sont permises.
[ Read the rest ... ]
Police State Injustice: Canada's Security Certificate Processposted on December 30, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Source: The Progressive News Hour
Date: December 23, 2010
In place since 1978, it lets authorities detain and/or deport foreign nationals and other non-citizens suspected of human rights violations, alleged threats to national security, or claimed affiliation with organized crime, using (usually bogus) secret evidence withheld from defense counsel.
Since 1991, 27 residents have been affected. In February 2007, Canada's Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in Charkaoui v. Canada. However, eight months later in October, the Canadian House of Commons passed Bill C-3 (a so-called anti-terror measure), amending the 2001 Immigration and Refugee Protection Act by introducing a special advocate into the certificate process on the pretext of protecting subjects during secret proceedings.
That and other provisions are troubling, including indefinite detentions, with or without charges, draconian house arrest with continuous monitoring and surveillance, and deportations to despotic states unjustly. Doing so assures torture, imprisonment or death. It's why subjects fled to Canada, believing they'd be safe.
The special advocate provision is reprehensible, providing legal cover for a fundamentally unjust process designed to stigmatize, vilify, convict, imprison, or deport mostly innocent victims to oblivion, pretending national and public security were protected.
As a result, human and civil rights advocates, anti-war activists, opponents of extremist government policies, and targets of convenience for political advantage (especially Muslims) are unjustly charged, arrested, and persecuted. Their constitutional right of assured innocence unless proved guilty in a fair and open process beyond a reasonable doubt is denied, subjecting them to police state injustice, common in third world dictatorships.
[ Read the rest ... ]
Editorial: A work in progressposted on December 19, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
[PHOTO: Supporters of Mohamed Harkat rally at the Human Rights Monument in Ottawa. Harkat is living in Ottawa under strict conditions imposed by Canada's security certificate process.]
Security certificates remain one of the most controversial elements in the Canadian legal tool kit for dealing with terrorist threats. Although used sparingly by the government, they have come under intense public and judicial scrutiny in the post 9-11 period.
The Supreme Court struck down the original security certificate process in 2007 -- deeming that, because of its reliance on secret intelligence, it denied those named by the government as national security threats the right to adequately defend themselves. Parliament responded by passing new security certificate legislation in 2008 with additional constitutional protections.
The government issued renewed certificates against five individuals, all Muslim men it believed were terrorists. Since 2008, these five cases have been winding their way through Federal Court. If a security certificate is found to be "reasonable" by the presiding judge, then the government can attempt to return terrorist suspects to their countries of origin -- itself a difficult process given Canada's international law obligation not to return a person to a country that practices torture or abuse of detainees.
The varying outcomes of these five cases show that, despite changes to the law, the process remains a problematic one. All are time and resource-consuming legal marathons.
In fact, two of the cases are ongoing. Judgments have been reached in three of the cases, with one case dismissed, and one withdrawn by the government on the grounds that its continuance threatened the public disclosure of sensitive intelligence.
[ Read the rest ... ]
Mohamed Harkat's secret trial threatens us allposted on December 13, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Source: Paul S. Graham Blog
Date: December 13, 2010
I don’t know whether Mohamed Harkat is a terrorist or not. Neither do you. How could we? Harkat was convicted in a secret trial, based on secret “evidence” provided by shadowy sources who will remain unknown to Mr. Harkat and the rest of us unless we overturn the unjust, draconian laws that made this travesty of justice possible.
Yesterday Federal Court Justice Simon Noel upheld the security certificate issued against Mohamed Harkat in 2002, opining that ” . . . although the danger associated to Mr. Harkat has diminished over time, he still poses a danger to Canada, but at a lesser level . . .” This decision makes it possible for Immigration Canada to deport Mr. Harkat to his native Algeria where he would face imprisonment and torture, if not death.
A security certificate according to Public Safety Canada is a document issued by the immigration minister to force the “removal from Canada of non-Canadians who have no legal right to be here and who pose a serious threat to Canada and Canadians.”
Under the legislation governing security certificates (Bill C-3), courts are permitted to consider secret information in closed sessions. The defendant is not permitted to see this information or to question it. “Special advocates,” appointed by the minister who issued the certificate, are allowed to see the secret information, but they are not allowed to disclose it to the defendant or his lawyer. (See this in-depth analysis of security certificates.)
[ Read the rest ... ]
VIDEO: Security Certificates - Past, Present and Futureposted on October 24, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Security Certificates: Not Over! (Updates and Call to Action)posted on October 01, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink
Soon the Federal Court judge will rule in Mohamed Harkat’s case. The decision on whether the security certificate against him is “reasonable” could come any day.
A decision that a certificate is “reasonable” is effectively a deportation order. It will determine whether Mohamed and his wife Sophie will at last have their lives restored to them or whether they will have to continue struggling for justice.
--> IF THE DECISION IS AGAINST JUSTICE FOR MOHAMED HARKAT
There will be an EMERGENCY DAY OF ACTION. Actions are called for 5:30 pm the day after the decision is announced. Make preparations now to make sure your committee, union, or organization is ready to respond!
In Ottawa, events will be coordinated by the Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee. If you can make it to Ottawa for these events, please do!
If you are organizing an event, let the Committee for Justice for Mohamed Harkat know at [email]
Watch for updates - and be ready to move! For more info, [link]
--> IF THE DECISION IS IN FAVOUR OF JUSTICE FOR MOHAMED HARKAT
Have a celebration in your area and support the two people still under security certificates, Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammed Mahjoub. (See below.)
[ Read the rest ... ]