Call to endorse petition statement against
secret trial security certificates
HALIFAX (4 December 2004) -- The Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, in conjunction with the Coalition for Justice for Adil Charkaoui and Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee is calling on Canadians to endorse the petition statement posted below by 7 December 2004. The endorsed petition will be publicly presented on December 10, International Human Rights Day.
Two years ago on International Human Rights Day, Algerian refugee Mohamed Harkat was arrested in Ottawa on a security certificate. He has been in jail without charge or bail on secret "evidence" neither he nor his lawyer has been allowed to see. He is one of five Muslim men held under Canada's secret trial process: Mohammad Mahjoub (held since June 2000), Mahmoud Jaballah (August 2001), Hassan Almrei (solitary confinement since October 2001) and Adil Charkaoui (May 2003). If convicted, they will be severed from their lives and families in Canada and deported to places where they could face torture and even death.
I call on organizations and individuals to sign the petition. If signing as an individual, include your geographic location and position. Send endorsements to: EndorseStatement@yahoo.ca
Statement Against Secret Trial Security Certificates
We, the undersigned, have grave concerns regarding the continued use of sections 9, 76-87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allow for the imprisonment in Canada of refugees and permanent residents under the authority of a "Security Certificate":
We are particularly concerned that those detained under security certificates are:
- Being imprisoned indefinitely on secret evidence, though no charges have been laid against them;
- Tried in unfair trials where the evidence is not disclosed to the detainee or their lawyer;
- Denied the right to appeal when the certificate is upheld in a process that uses the lowest standard of proof of any court in Canada;
- Subject to deportation even when they face unfair imprisonment, torture or death.
We believe that the Security Certificate process is undemocratic and that it violates fundamental human rights, which the government of Canada has committed itself to through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Convention on Torture.
Accordingly, we demand that the Security Certificate process be abolished.
For those currently imprisoned under security certificates, we demand:
- That they be released immediately; or, if any case against them actually exists, that they be allowed to defend themselves in open, fair and independent trials with full disclosure of the case against them.
- That they not be deported.
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