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[OPIRG-EVENTS] 25 August March against Security Certificates with families and friends of the detained
**END discriminatory and anti-democratic Security Certificates!**
**JOIN with families and friends of Canadian Secret Trial Detainees!**
WHEN: Monday, August 25, 11:00 am
WHERE: Gather at Human Rights Monument, Elgin Street at Lisgar, Ottawa
WHAT: A walk and delegation to the Prime Minister's Office seeking freedom
for Canada's secret trial detainees
WHO: Friends and Families of Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohammad Mahjoub, Hassan
Almrei, Mohamed Harkat and Adil Charkaoui
WHY: The Families want the Prime Minister to investigate the issue of secret
trial detainees and, as part of his legacy, abolish the secret trial
security certificate and grant freedom to the five.
This historic gathering will bring together families and friends of all five
men collectively held 94 months in Canadian jails without charge or bail on
Shortly after 11:15 am on Monday, August 25, friends and family of five
Muslim men who have been collectively held 94 months in Canadian prisons
without charge or bail, on secret "evidence" neither they nor their lawyers
are allowed to see, will gather at the Canadian Human Rights Monument (Elgin
and Lisgar) and then proceed to the office of the Prime Minister via a walk
past Immigration and the Supreme Court. A request for the meeting was sent
in late July.
Currently held on a CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) "security
certificate" are Mohammad Mahjoub (since June, 2000), Mahmoud Jaballah (held
14, 2001), Hassan Almrei (Oct. 2001), Mohamed Harkat (Dec. 2002) and Adil
Charkaoui (May 2003). Most of their prison time has been in solitary
"The security certificate is a medieval, Star Chamber-like process that
serves as execution by deportation," says group spokesperson Matthew
Behrens. "The Canadian government wants to deport these men back to
countries where they face torture and execution, all without telling them
why. This is done on the word of the scandal-plagued CSIS, whose history of
dishonesty and incompetence is well-known."
The event marks the first time that the wives and children of the imprisoned
men have met as a group. Individually, they, along with friends in the
community, have tried lobbying MPs, writing letters to Immigration Minister
Denis Coderre and Solicitor General Wayne Easter, holding vigils at CSIS,
organizing long-distance public education walks, and more in an attempt to
win freedom for their loved ones.
"If there is a 'case' against these men, all the families have asked is that
the 'evidence', if any does exist, be brought forward in open court so that
it can be answered and dealt with," says Behrens. "To force these folks to
go through the Kafka-esque process of being told there is a problem, but
that the nature of that problem cannot be discussed, is wholly unfair, and
illegal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. Needless to say, it is a serious blow against the Canadian
notion of democracy.
"It's well past time to release these men to their families and communities,
and for CSIS to stop terrorizing the Muslim community and people of Arabic
and Middle Eastern heritage."
After the meeting with the PMO, the campaign is organizing a national day of
action to stop secret trials on Friday, October 31. Among the planned
activities will be a trick-or-treat action at CSIS headquarters, seeking the
sealed "evidence", if such exists, against the five men.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada
c/o Homes not Bombs PO Box 73260, 509 St. Clair Ave. West
Toronto, ON M6C 1C0, (416) 651-5800, firstname.lastname@example.org, cell: (416) 301-4514
"THERE IS A LAND where the government can arrest non-citizens, throw them in
jail for an indefinite period of time, and then remove them from the
country, all in virtual secrecy. This is a land where, for certain people,
civil liberties and rights of due process don't exist. No, this is not China
or Cuba. This is Canada -- a country I believed understood the transcendent
importance of safeguarding civil liberties. But against those whom Ottawa
secretly determines are a threat to national security, the government can
act, and is now acting in alarming ways. Has Canada gone mad? Shades of
Guantanamo Bay -- where the U.S. has imprisoned hundreds of suspected
terrorists without trial -- colour the government and the judiciary."
Leading Criminal Lawyer Edward Greenspan, Maclean's, July 28, 2003
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