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[OPIRG-EVENTS] ***LETTERWRITING NIGHT*** IN SUPPORT OF MOHAMED HARKAT!
YOU ARE INVITED BY
Direct Action Casework Ottawa
TO ATTEND A ***LETTERWRITING NIGHT*** IN SUPPORT OF MOHAMED HARKAT!
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
5) An immediate end to all deportations to Algeria and a return to the
moratorium on removals to Algeria
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