Security Certificates

Untenable, indeed

posted on January 07, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Janet Cleveland and Sharryn J. Aiken Source: The Globe and Mail URL: [link] Date: December 18, 2009 In your editorial The Untenable And The Repugnant (Dec. 15), you say: "It is repugnant to deport someone to be tortured. It is also untenable to hold them indefinitely in jail ..." Yet, you advocate ignoring the risk of torture for an immigrant or refugee suspected on security grounds. Do they not qualify as "someone"? On this reasoning, Hassan Almrei would long ago have been deported to Syria based on CSIS allegations described by the Federal Court as unfounded and unreliable. As former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour has said, "diplomatic assurances do not work as they do not provide adequate protection against torture and ill-treatment." And a number of individuals, notably Maher Arar, are known to have been tortured despite such assurances. The O'Connor commission concluded that Mr. Arar's torture in Syria is "a concrete example" that diplomatic assurances from totalitarian regimes have "no value." Why give any weight to assurances from countries that routinely practise torture and deny doing so? Why believe they'll respect their promise not to torture a particular individual when they repeatedly violate international law's ban on such crimes? Torture is carried out in secret. The Canadian government does not have the means or will to monitor respect of diplomatic assurances. Seeking such assurances is but a fig leaf for complicity in torture. © Copyright 2010 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Security certificate quashed by court (Almrei)

posted on January 07, 2010 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Cristin Schmitz Source: The Lawyers Weekly URL: [link] Date: December 25, 2009 Special advocates played key role in destroying government’s case

In a major test of the country’s new secrecy-shrouded special advocate regime, the Federal Court has quashed an “unreasonable” security certificate and condemned Canada’s spy agency for failing to voluntarily disclose secret evidence inconsistent with its allegations that an Arab man poses a risk to national security. On Dec. 14, Justice Richard Mosley quashed Hassan Almrei’s security certificate on the basis that there are presently no reasonable grounds to conclude that Almrei remains a danger to national security, even though he said the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) did have reasonable grounds to consider the Syrian national dangerous when he was first detained on a security certificate in October 2001. (The law requires the court to assess whether there is a current risk to national security when deciding whether a certificate is reasonable). [PHOTO: Lorne Waldman and Sarah Boyd were Hassan Almrei’s public counsel.] While Almrei, who was admitted to Canada as a refugee in 1999, did lie to Canadian authorities, did associate with persons believed to be Sunni Muslim extremists and did engage in criminal activities, including using a false passport for himself, and was prepared to obtain false passports and travel documents for others, “the Hassan Almrei of 2001 is not the same person I heard and observed in the courtroom,” the judge explained.

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Almrei toasts court decision

posted on December 16, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: The Mississauga News
URL: [link]
Date: February 15, 2009

Mississauga resident Hassan Almrei, pegged by CSIS after 9/11 as a terror suspect linked to terror kingpin Osama Bin Laden, celebrated the defeat of the federal government's deportation case against him by having a non-alcoholic drink yesterday with his lawyers.

His team of lawyers, however, toasted victory with champagne.

"This is a huge decision," said lead lawyer Lorne Waldman.

Yesterday, more than eight years after Almrei's arrest, a Federal Court of Canada judge threw out the security certificate against him, concluding the evidence — both secret and public — against the Syrian native does not hold up to scrutiny.

In a landmark ruling, Justice Richard Mosley declared "unreasonable" the security certificate that deemed Almrei a threat to national security.

Almrei was first arrested in October 2001 in his Cooksville apartment. He as released last March under strict monitoring conditions that include an electronic tracking bracelet on his leg.

He said yesterday he had waited a long time for this day.

"I'm glad. I cannot describe how happy I am," he said from his lawyer's office. "At the same time, I'm sad it took me more than eight years."

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Van Loan eyes changes to the security certificate

posted on December 15, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by The Canadian Press Source: CTV News URL: [link] Date: February 14, 2009 Minister eyes changes to security certificate

OTTAWA — The federal government has launched a sweeping review of a crumbling anti-terrorist law, acknowledging the system needs fixing, The Canadian Press has learned. "We are working on it actively, very actively, and recognize that the current situation is not ideal -- and that there is a need for change," Peter Van Loan, Canada's public safety minister, said in an exclusive interview. The review of the rickety national-security certificate system could scrap or revamp a law used to arrest and deport non-Canadians considered a threat to national security. Certificates have existed for three decades, and more than two dozen have been issued since 1991, when they became part of federal immigration law.

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Court quashes security certificate against Almrei

posted on December 14, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

By Janice Tibbetts
Source: Canwest News Service
URL: [link]
Date: December 14, 2009

[PHOTO: Hassan Almrei was arrested in 2001 after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service alleged he was part of a Sunni extremist network.]

OTTAWA — The Federal Court has dealt another blow to the federal government's effort to deport foreign terrorist suspects in a ruling that quashed a security certificate against Hassan Almrei.

"I am satisfied that Hassan Almrei has not engaged in terrorism and is not and was not a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe has, does, or will engage in terrorism," Justice Richard Mosley wrote in a ruling released Monday.

Security certificates, which empower the government to detain non-Canadian suspects without charge or without knowing the case against them are one of the key federal tools in fighting terrorism.

On the approval of two cabinet ministers, the government can issue the certificates, which permit the incarceration of a suspect in "administrative detention" until a Federal Court judge determines whether he or she should be returned to his or her home country.

Almrei, a Syrian, came to Canada in 1999 as a refugee claimant. He was arrested in Toronto in 2001 after the Canadian Security Intelligence Service alleged he was part of a Sunni extremist network.

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Mahjoub released from holding centre

posted on December 01, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: CBC News URL: [link] Date: November 30, 2009 Egyptian al-Qaeda suspect released from holding centre,

A judge has ruled that Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, accused of having links to an Egyptian terrorist organization, can once again be freed from custody under strict conditions, ending Mahjoub's months-long hunger strike. Federal Court Justice Edmond Blanchard ruled Monday that the Egyptian-born immigrant can leave the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre in Bath, Ont., as long as he wears an electronic bracelet and adheres to other conditions. Last month, Mahjoub said he had lost more than 50 pounds while on a hunger strike to protest conditions at the holding centre, which is on the grounds of the Millhaven maximum-security prison near Kingston, Ont.

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Ottawa won't rewrite terror laws

posted on October 29, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Janice Tinnetts, Canwest News
Source: The montreal Gazette
URL: [link]
Date: October 17, 2009

Justice Minister Rob Nicholson says he has no immediate plans to rewrite Canada's laws for deporting foreign terrorism suspects, despite a string of cases in the nation's courts that have left the government's "war on terror" in tatters.

Despite mounting evidence that a key government tool intended to fight terrorism is losing traction, Nicholson said the government has secured some legal victories and will work within the framework of existing laws to evict non-Canadian suspects.

"We have won some, we've lost some when it comes to the whole question of security," Nicholson said in an interview yesterday with Canwest News Service.

"This is a priority with the government, and we will continue to move against people who are threatening security."

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Adil Charkaoui se dit entièrement libre

posted on October 15, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

Source: Radio-Canada
URL: [link]
Date: 14 octobre 2009

Adil Charkaoui affirme que le certificat de sécurité qui pesait contre lui depuis mai 2003 a été révoqué.

Le Montréalais d'origine marocaine a reçu, mercredi, le jugement de 68 pages de la juge Danièle Tremblay-Lamer de la Cour fédérale. S'appuyant sur ce jugement, Adil Charkaoui affirme que le certificat de sécurité est abrogé et que la décision est définitive et sans appel.


La décision est claire: les ministres ont perdu, ils ne peuvent plus aller en appel, le certificat est déclaré nul, j'ai ma liberté et, aujourd'hui, je suis libéré de ce certificat de sécurité qui m'a envenimé la vie pendant des années, six ans et demi de ma vie. — Adil Charkaoui


Dans une déclaration écrite, le ministre de la Sécurité publique Peter Van Loan a toutefois indiqué que « le gouvernement étudie la décision. Notre objectif est de s'assurer que les Canadiens soient protégés de toutes menaces terroristes. Nous examinons les effets de la décision en ce sens. »

Le 24 septembre dernier, la juge Tremblay-Lamer de la Cour fédérale a levé les dernières conditions qui restreignaient la liberté d'Adil Charkaoui. Ce dernier a d'ailleurs coupé, devant les caméras de télévision, le bracelet muni d'un GPS qu'il était forcé de porter à la cheville depuis 2005.

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Security certificates: Is it the end?

posted on October 07, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Monia Mazigh
URL: [link]
Date: October 6, 2009

The week of September 21 was an important one. Well, it is true that it is a special week when Muslims celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr and were happy congratulating and visiting each other. But for two other Muslim families, one in Ottawa and another in Montreal, this week had a special meaning.

I am speaking about Sophie Lamarche and her husband Mohamed Harkat who live in Ottawa, and about Adil Charkaoui and his family who live in Montreal. For Harkat and Charkaoui this week meant an extraordinary change in their lives.

For the first time Harkat was able to take his 10 year-old niece for a walk without any approval from the CBSA (Canadian Border Services Agency) agents and for the first time Charkaoui was able to remove his GPS ankle bracelet that monitored his movements for many years.

Those light bail conditions for Harkat and the removal of security certificate for Charkaoui did not happen suddenly. They came after about seven long years of detention, extremely harsh bail conditions and of course sorrow and hardship for the detainees and their families.

In December 2002, Mohamed Harkat, an Algerian refugee who worked in pizza delivery, was arrested in front of his house. Two Canadians Ministers signed a security certificate against him. He was designated as a threat to the security of Canada and proceedings were initiated against him to remove him to his homeland.

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Judge gives CSIS more power, now allowed to eavesdrop on Canadians abroad

posted on October 06, 2009 | in Category Security Certificates | PermaLink

by Jim Bronskill (CP) Source: The Canadian Press URL: [link] Csis CSIS enlists technical wizardry to eavesdrop abroad

OTTAWA — CSIS has recruited some Defence Department wizardry to sidestep legal limits on its ability to spy on Canadians travelling abroad. Details of a Federal Court ruling released Tuesday provide a glimpse of the high-tech tools used by spies in the fight against terrorism and espionage. The reasons for a potentially groundbreaking decision by Justice Richard Mosley reveal the Canadian Security Intelligence Service obtained a warrant to monitor two suspects considered threats to Canada late last year. When it got wind the pair were leaving the country, CSIS won court approval to employ the secretive Communications Security Establishment, a wing of National Defence, to ensure the interceptions could continue.

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