CAIR-CAN welcomes Supreme Court decision to hear constitutionality of security certificates
Thursday, August 25, 2005 2:43 pm
For immediate release, 25/08/05- END -
The Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) welcomes today's decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to hear a challenge to Canada's security certificate process.
"Security certificates violate both the rule of law and the most basic legal protections, such as the right to due process, to a fair trial, and to be free from torture," says Riad Saloojee, CAIR-CAN's executive director.
"In their current form, security certificates make a mockery of justice.
We hope that the Supreme Court will examine this regime with the critical eye it deserves," he added.
Adil Charkaoui, one of five men currently being tried under security certificates, has been granted leave by the Supreme Court to challenge the certificate process as violating the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international law.
Under security certificates, the government does not have to disclose the nature of the allegations against a defendant, and evidence can be heard in secret. The process applies only to non-citizens, who can be held indefinitely under the certificates.
The men currently being tried in this process - virtually all Arabs or Muslims - are Muhammad Mahjoub (held since June, 2000), Mahmoud Jaballah (held since August, 2001), Hassan Almrei (held since October, 2001), Mohamed Harkat (held since December, 2002 and found guilty in March 2005), and Adil Charkaoui (held since May, 2003 and released on bail in February 2005). Each of the men face deportation to countries where they will likely be tortured if found guilty.
Several groups and high-profile individuals have condemned the security certificate process, including the Canadian Bar Association, the Law Union of Ontario, Amnesty International Canada, filmmaker Denys Arcand and Alexandre Trudeau.
For more information, please contact Halima Mautbur at 613-254-9704 or 613-795-2012.