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Impeach Bush

US sends Canadian to Syria to be tortured
CTV (Canada)
(Maher Arar suing Canadian officials: report)
April 22, 2004

The Canadian who was deported from the U.S. to Syria, where he says he was tortured as a suspected terrorist, is looking for compensation.

According to a report in the National Post Thursday, Maher Arar and his family have filed a lawsuit against the Canadian government, CSIS, and the RCMP, claiming they combined efforts to investigate him "on the basis of racial and cultural stereotypes and prejudices."

In a list of allegations including assault, negligence, false imprisonment, and abuse of public office, Arar's federal suit also alleges that Canadian authorities claimed he was "connected to international terrorism."

The Post reports Arar is looking for $400 million in damages and punitive damages.

No statement of defence has been filed and the allegations have not been proven in court.

Arar has already filed a lawsuit against U.S. officials, alleging they deported him to Syria in full knowledge that he would be tortured when he got there.

In a recent report, the worldwide advocacy group Human Rights Watch listed Canada as a country believed to deport terror suspects to states that torture prisoners.

Pointing specifically to Arar's case, the group concluded that that diplomatic assurances -- in which one country promises another that it won't use torture on an extradited suspect -- have no value.

A judicial inquiry into the case is slated to move into its next phase at the end of this month, when Justice Dennis O'Connor begins hearing applications for standing.

Charged with probing Arar's case -- and presenting the government with recommendations for the creation of an independent review mechanism for RCMP activities with respect to national security -- O'Connor isn't expected to hear actual testimony until June 14.

There are already two other ongoing inquiries -- one by the Security Intelligence Review Committee and another by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen with dual citizenship, was detained by U.S. officials in September 2002 during a stopover in New York. He was on his way home to Canada from a trip to Tunisia.

On Oct. 8, he was flown to Jordan and then transported to Syria, where he says he spent close to 10 months being tortured.

Arar, who has denied being a terrorist and has not been charged with a crime, was eventually released and later returned to Canada.

He has since insisted that Canadian officials were aware he was going to be deported.

© 2004 Bell Globemedia Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Commentary:
How can a Canadian citizen be deported to US-sanctioned torture camp without the Justice Department and Attorney General knowing about it? Impeach Ashcroft.

The buzz word for the rest of the year is going to be "torture." Canada, the US and Great Britain are all accused of engaging in torture in one form or another. Has the world gone mad?