NCCM urges government to apologize and compensate three Canadians for complicity in their torture
Canada must ensure that all of its actions are free from being implicated in torture
-For Immediate Release-
(Ottawa – September 20, 2016) The National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM), a prominent civil liberties & advocacy organization, is calling on the federal government to immediately apologize and compensate three Canadian Muslim men for contributing to their wrongful imprisonment and subsequent torture in Syrian and Egyptian jails over a decade ago.
“The Torture Files” is a new CBC investigation airing this week examining the role of Canadian officials and various government bodies in the arrest, detention, and torture of Canadian Muslim men Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin, between 2001 – 2004.
“It is critical that Canadians demand that the government right the terrible wrongs done to these three men, whose lives and those of their families were forever changed when they were falsely flagged as being terrorists, and then detained and tortured overseas,” says NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee. “This latest news investigation shines a long overdue spotlight on the role government officials played in their ordeals. Like Maher Arar, who was also detained and tortured in Syria due to the actions of Canadian officials, these three men deserve justice.”
All three men were under surveillance by Canadian security officials following the 9/11 terror attacks. A 2008 federal inquiry led by former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci found that actions and decisions taken by government officials indirectly led to their detention and torture abroad. The men are currently suing the federal government which is continuing to fight the case in court. In 2009, the Liberals supported a motion in Parliament to apologize and provide compensation.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. These men have lived without acknowledgement for too long. We, as a country, let them down. We sold them out, even cooperating with the despotic regimes that tortured them. Canada must own up to its part and make certain it never does this to anyone ever again,” says Faisal Bhabha, legal counsel to NCCM.
“If Canadians wish to express their outrage over Canada’s complicity in these men’s torture, they should urgently demand the government to rescind the previous government’s directives on information-sharing with regimes that practice torture and repudiate the ill-conceived Anti-Terrorism Act, 2015. The Prime Minister must demonstrate for all to see that Canada has nothing to do with torture, period,” adds Bhabha.