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Direct Action Casework Ottawa 


Where:  Jack Purcell Community Centre, accessible location.  Room 102. 
When:  March 31, 2003  7pm - 9:30pm, drop by any time! 
Included:  SNACKS!, paper/pens/envelopes/stamps, information! 

We will have an update on what the security certificate is and what is 
happening to Mohamed.  We encourage all to write letters to the head of 
immigration Denis Coderre, the solicitor general Wayne Easter and to 
Mohamed as well. 


Who is Mohamed Harkat and why is he in jail? 

Mohamed Harkat has been in Canada since 1995. In 1997, he was given 
refugee status after claiming that he faced persecution from the Algerian 
government if he were to return. Now he faces removal to Algeria where he 
could be killed. On December 10th 2002, Mr. Harkat was arrested by 
undercover police outside his home in Ottawa. Since then, he has been in 
jail WITHOUT ANY CHARGES under a 'Security Certificate' authorized by 
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Denis Coderre and Solicitor General 
Wayne Easter. Mr. Harkat is being held under the allegation that he is 
linked to Islamic terrorist groups and activities. Mr. Harkat denies any 
involvement with any terrorist organizations. Both Mr. Harkat's wife Sophie 
and lawyer Bruce Engel believe Mr. Harkat is innocent. Mr. Engel has seen 
no evidence to support the allegation. Sophie Harkat says, "Mohamed is 
being mistreated because of all these allegations, and the treatment he has 
been receiving is unfair and horrible." 
Mr. Harkat is being denied his rights as a human being under a 
racist attack against Arabic communities by the Canadian government. 

What is a Security Certificate? 

A security certificate is an anti-democratic and secretive device 
used to remove people from Canada. It strips vulnerable people of the right 
to due process and standard legal rights.  A security certificate must be 
authorized by the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Solicitor 
General. CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service), Canada's secret 
police agency, helped create the security certificate in 1990. CSIS puts 
together information to label people as possible threats and then the 
information is used to sign a security certificate. The security 
certificate can be used against foreign nationals as well as permanent 
residents. When it is being used against foreign nationals, or people 
trying to immigrate to Canada, they are automatically detained. The hearing 
that takes place to determine whether a person poses a threat to the 
country takes place without the person charged being present. They are 
denied information on why they were arrested and what their charges are. 
Even their lawyer is not allowed to know, denying access to fair 
representation. Mohamed Harkat is in this unjust situation and FACES 
DEPORTATION AND POSSIBLE DEATH. For what? He is not allowed to know! 

We demand that Mohamed Harkat: 

1) Be released immediately 

2) Not be deported 

3) Be allowed due process: the right to a fair trial, the right to know 
what he is charged with, the right to hear evidence against him and the 
right to defend himself in court. 

We also demand: 

4) That the secretive and unjust Security Certificate  mechanism be 
abolished immediately 

5) An immediate end to all deportations to Algeria and a return to the 
moratorium on removals to Algeria 

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