Canadian Arab Federation calls for due process for all detainees


In a news release dated October 7, the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) expressed its happiness at the release of Maher Arar and called on the Canadian government to do more to ensure the protection of Canadian citizens domestically and abroad. "We extend our best wishes to the Arar family," CAF National President Raja Khouri said amongst other things.

"Mr. Arar is not the only person of Arab descent to be held in detention. Hassan Almrei, a 29-year old refugee from Syria has been held in a Canadian prison for two years in solitary confinement without charge or bail. He is being held on a security certificate that does not allow for any of the alleged evidence against him to be shared with either Almrei or his lawyer. Others being similarly detained in Canada are Mahmoud Jaballah (without charge since August 2001), Mohammad Mahjoub (held since June 2000), Adil Charkaoui (since May) and Mohamad Harkat (since Dec 2002)," the CAF said.

CAF's Executive Director Audrey Jamal said: "As a country we cannot be selective in condemning these human rights violations internationally while remaining silent about events that happen within our own borders."

"The same Canadian officials, who found the detention of Mr. Arar without trial or charge unacceptable, should also take action against the lack of due process for detainees that is happening right here in Canada," Jamal said.

CAF urged the Canadian government to either charge these individuals and present those charges in a court of law with transparent and public proceedings, or release them.


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