The Council of Canadians has written to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale calling for the immediate end to deportation proceedings against UN Convention refugee Mohamed Harkat.
Harkat has been subjected to a Security Certificate since 2002. After three and a half years in solitary confinement, Harkat was released under the strictest conditions in Canadian history. Now he is facing possible deportation to torture.
As we write in the letter, “We are deeply concerned that Immigration Canada is making a concerted effort to deport Mohamed Harkat. If deported to Algeria under a controversial Security Certificate, Mr. Harkat will likely be subjected to torture and his life will be at risk.”
The deeply undemocratic practice of Security Certificates is based on hearsay, innuendo, and secret information. Harkat should be allowed to remain in Canada, not deported to likely torture.
Canadian and international law is clear that people are presumed innocent until proven guilty and have the right to a fair trial. Mohamed Harkat has not had anything resembling a trial at all, let alone a fair one, and is presumed guilty based on information obtained through torture, the originals of which have since been destroyed.
For many years, the Council has supported efforts to end this injustice and to let Mr. Harkat stay in Canada. It’s time to uphold the findings of the Arar and Iacobucci inquiries and to end this ongoing human rights violation.
The Council of Canadians unequivocally opposes the secret trials, deportation to torture, and a two-tiered justice system, which Security Certificates represent. Security Certificates are steeped in racism, targeting Arab and Muslim men. That Security Certificates are allowed to continue sends a very worrying message to the rest of world about where Canada stands on human rights and international law.
This must come to an end. It’s time to stop the deportation of Mohamed Harkat and abolish Security Certificates.