What’s this new fad in national security? What’s that recent hype about detaining people without providing a reason? Have you heard about this up and coming hot topic about security certificates?
Well here’s the thing. It’s nothing new! Security Certificates have been part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act since the late 70’s. What’s it all about? Security Certificates are a sheet of paper the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) obtains to detain non-Canadian citizens as long as they want or deport them based on information that they need not release to anyone. (my co-bloggers will give you some more info about the history)
Okay, so they’re non-Canadian citizens…no biggie, they’re not official Canadian’s anyways. So what if they hold ‘em between four empty walls for weeks and months on end and then send ‘em packing without explanation? Well it doesn’t stop there. In 2002 these Security Certificates have been extended to include permanent residents in Canada. (Forget what you learned in Grade 2 though. The term ‘permanent’ is flexible in this case)
So basically, if the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) feels that you have been, are, or will be a threat to National Security, then, my friend…you are going back to wherever it is you came from. It really doesn’t matter to us what happens to you after; doesn’t matter if you’re going to be tortured and killed ‘back home’….as long as you’re out of our hair.
You’re thinking, maybe they did something wrong. Maybe they have evidence against these people. My response is, ‘who knows!’. Really. I want to know. Who knows? Because I don’t know. You don’t know. The accused doesn’t know. Their family doesn’t know. The public doesn’t know. Frankly, we may never know!
For example, you have Adil Charkaoui, one of the accused… He claims that while he was detained, he was presented with a 400 page report. 14 of those pages included direct information about him including that 1. He was Muslim, 2. He was Arab, 3. He studied martial arts, 4. He is married, 5. He has children, 6. He has certain academic degrees and 7. He went to Pakistan. Nothing in their information against him cited him in relation to terrorist acts.
Now before rambling on, we must remember that the major issue is basic human rights: The right to not be thrown between four walls without awareness of the justification. The right to not be stolen from your family, your friends, your job and the comforts you worked towards. Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? What happened to due process? Whatever happened to the same human rights as even ‘proven rapists’. They get visits. These accused fellows didn’t even have permission to see their family.
This is an issue that affects every one of us. First non-citizens, then permanent residents….next… YOU! Can you imagine sitting at work and all of a sudden you get rushed by CSIS and thrown in a jail with murderers, felons, racists, gangsters and rapists?
This issue is presented to us as: ‘human rights’ only applies to us born on this piece of land. Is this justice? Is this the freedom Canada brags about? Are human rights localized, or universal?
But shhhhhh don’t say anything that might sound the least bit critical of your government, you never know what they’ll hold against you. Really….you’ll never know.