Lawyers Against the War deplores the conditions inflicted by the governments of Canada and Ontario that have driven Security Certificate prisoners Hassan Almrei and Mohammad Mahjoub to life-threatening hunger strikes. The Security Certificate system under which non-citizens are arrested and detained indefinitely on the basis of secret evidence is a violation of Canadian and international human rights law. A letter of October 14, 2004 to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness by more than sixty eminent legal authorities, expressed ‘grave and urgent concern about both the arbitrary detention and the removal to torture of non-citizens in Canada pursuant to the Security Certificate procedure’. The full letter is attached to this statement.
We believe that this un-Canadian behaviour is a result of the new American witch-hunt that is the Bush administration’s illegal and mendacious ‘War on Terror’, which has already resulted in the Canada’s complicity in the torture of our own citizens.
If there is evidence that these men have committed crimes, they should be prosecuted. If not, they should be released.
LAW is an international group of jurists based in Canada with members in 14 countries.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Sharryn J. Aiken
Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
Macdonald Hall, Kingston ON
Canada K7L 3N6
Tel. (613) 533-6000 ext. 78007
Fax: (613) 533-6509
Michael Mandel, Professor
Osgoode Hall Law School
York University, 4700 Keele Street
Toronto, CANADA, M3J 1P3