[DEBATE] : Sorry, wrong guy
hein at marais.as
Tue Sep 19 11:51:34 BST 2006
Canada clears 'al-Qaeda suspect'
By Lee Carter
BBC News, Toronto
A public inquiry in Canada has strongly criticised the country's authorities
for wrongly accusing a Syrian-born Canadian of terrorism.
Maher Arar was arrested in New York in September 2002 and accused of being
an al-Qaeda member.
He was deported by US officials to Syria where he claimed he was tortured.
The inquiry absolves Mr Arar of any suspicion of terrorist activities and
urges the Canadian government to compensate him financially.
In his long awaited public report, Justice Dennis O'Connor quite definitely
concludes that Mr Arar is an innocent victim.
"I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that
Mr Arar has committed any offence or that his activities constitute a threat
to the security of Canada," he states.
The software engineer from Ottawa was on his way home from a holiday in the
Middle East in 2002 and was arrested as he changed planes at JFK Airport in
After being interrogated by US customs agents, he was deported not to Canada
but to Syria.
The report has backed up Mr Arar's claims that he was tortured in Damascus
before being released in 2003.
Justice O'Connor singles out Canada's national police force, the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), for particular criticism.
He said that the police shared inaccurate and unfair information with US
authorities, although he does make it clear that Canadian officials did not
encourage Mr Arar's deportation.
The report says that the Canadian government should assess Mr Arar's claims
The inquiry only had the mandate to scrutinise Canadian agencies - it did
not address the behaviour of US authorities for what appears to be a clear
case of so called extraordinary rendition.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2006/09/19 06:33:34 GMT
(c) BBC MMVI
-------------- next part --------------
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.405 / Virus Database: 268.12.5/450 - Release Date: 18/09/2006
More information about the Debate-list