Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fwd from TASC re: National Day of Action

National Day of Action to Stop Secret Trials in Canada and End Deportations to Torture

Join us Wednesday December 10 (or as near to that date as you can) to call for the abolition of "security certificates" and deportations to torture.

As Canada marks International Human Rights Day this December 10, secret rendition-to-torture hearings will be continuing in the nation's capital. The public portions of those secret hearings, show trials in which an individual is alleged to be a threat but is not given any reasons why, have been ongoing, even though the Supreme Court of Canada declared security certificates unconstitutional in February, 2007. Such hearings have been a hallmark of Canadian immigration law for decades.

Many people thought that since four of the five individuals detained (Mohammad Mahjoub, Mahmoud Jaballah, Mohamed Harkat, Adil Charkaoui) under these medieval certificates were home with their families that somehow the suffering has ended. Far from it. The daily humiliation of being forced to wear tracking devices strapped to their ankles, the inability to go to the corner store to buy a litre of milk without government permission or having your mother accompany you, the over-the-top surveillance by state agents (everything from the cameras located both inside and outside the residence, tapping of phones and opening of mail to constantly snapping pictures of the men and their families while on approved "outings,") and the manner in which these "conditions of release" have actually served to jail the men's wives, parents, and children, clearly show that the pattern of repression continues to grow, isolating them from their communities as they fight deportation to torture.

Meanwhile, Hassan Almrei remains indefinitely detained in the most expensive solitary confinement cell in Canada, Kingston's Immigration Holding Centre (aka Guantanamo North).

Security certificates represent two-tier justice, the lowest-standard available because of the fact that those affected are refugees and permanent residents. The addition of a so-called "special advocate" does nothing to address the fundamentally flawed and unfair nature of the process, because the detainee is no closer to seeing the basis of the secret file. The fact that the same judges hearing these cases have all made adverse findings against the secret trial five in the past leaves the door open to a clear apprehension of bias. And the Chief Justice of the Federal Court muses aloud about why such hearings need to have the highest standards applied!
Join us December 10 to remind the Canadian public, government officials, and federal court judges that secret trials and deportations to torture cannot be subject to amendments and tinkering: they must be abolished.

Getting Involved.
1. Already, events are planned in London, Toronto, Fredericton, Ottawa, and Montreal. If you would like to hold an event in your community, contact us at tasc@web.ca, and we can help you with press releases, handouts for your action, and specific suggestions.

2. Join Federal Court Watch, a new initiative that invites you as a member of the public into the courts to monitor and document the abuses that go on in the public portions of these Kafkaesque trials. See http://www.adilinfo.org/en/federal-court-watch

Endorsed by: Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, Justice for Adil, Justice for Mohamed Harkat Committee

Toronto Event: Gather at CSIS with Santa Claus on Wednesday, December 10, 4:30-5:30 pm, for a Sing-Out Against Secret Trials. Join us for new renditions of those holiday favourites, including Rudolf the Racist MP, Struggling in a Winter Wonderland, CSIS Spies are Tracking You Down, and the classic chestnut, The 12 Days of IRPA. Info: tasc@web.ca

Montreal event: Gather at Federal Court at 12 noon, December 10, details at www,adilinfo.org, justiceforadil@riseup.net

Events also planned in Ottawa, London, Fredericton, and other cities that have yet to finalize plans. Please join us wherever you are!!

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