International

Canadian “rendition” victim cleared

Almost three years ago I posted about the case of Maher Arar– a victim of the horrendous US policy of “rendition,” in which terrorism suspects are turned over to foreign countries known to torture people in their custody.

Arar, a joint Canadian-Syrian citizen, was in transit to Canada in 2002 when he was arrested by US authorities and sent to Syria. There he was beaten and tortured for 10 months before being released back to Canada.

Now, according to a Canadian government investigation, Arar’s rendition to Syria was “very likely” based on false information that Canadian authorities provided to the US.

“I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada,” Justice Dennis O’Connor said Monday in a three-volume report on the findings of the inquiry, part of which was made public.
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U.S. and Syrian officials refused to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry.

Even if Arar had been a terrorist, I can’t find any way to justify turning him over to the tender mercies of the Syrian regime– the same regime which, as I noted three years ago, is pleased to torture alleged terrorists while providing aid and comfort to real terrorists.

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