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Fredericton Peace Coalition supports Adil Charkaoui

We are writing this letter to denounce in the strongest of terms the leak of false secret information about Adil Charkaoui which led to the La Presse article of 4 August 2011 entitled “Une conversation compromettante entre Charkaoui et Abdelrazik” by Pierre-André Normandin. We also denounce Jason Kenney’s assertion that people are misguided if they support people whom the Canadian government has designated as “harmful” to Canada. This claim attacks those who stand up for the persons who experience discrimination and marginalization and has a tone of a dangerous state authoritarianism.

Many of us know Mr.Charkaoui on a professional basis due to his visit to Fredericton in June of 2009. He traveled to the Maritimes to share details about his treatment and to promote justice, equality and peace through the end of Islamophobia and the retraction of security certificates. He gave a public talk on June 2 which was attended by approximately 50 people, a considerable turn out in a small community. He also gave talks at St. Thomas University. Based on the reports that followed, we are aware that he impressed and inspired those who attended.

Mr. Charkoui absolutely categorically denies the many vicious allegations that were made against him in Mr. Normadin’s article and subsequent coverage and challenges his accusers to come out into the public and present their evidence in the light of day. This leak took place in the context of Mr. Charkaoui’s attempt to clear his name and to seek compensation for the years of mistreatment that he has endured. This leak and Mr. Kenney’s rapid response have the strong possibility of intimidating and silencing those who stand up for justice, and to stir up attitudes of Islamophobia and racism in our society. The Fredericton Peace Coalition rejects this attack on our freedom and wishes to express its strong support for Mr. Adil Charkaoui to continue fighting such measures as blacklists and security certificates in support of freedom, justice and equality.

We support the calls for a public inquiry to discover those who are responsible for this leak and what the motivations were behind it. With the Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui, we are concerned with the timing of this leak, given that Mr. Charkaoui launched a lawsuit in 2009 to hold the government accountable for the abuse of his rights in the security certificate case. We support the Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui in its belief that the leak could be related to Charkaoui’s $24.5-million lawsuit against the Canadian government for the abuse of his rights in the security certificate case.

Mr. Charkaoui has been called upon once again to defend his name and to assert his innocence. He has categorically stated that these allegations are false and constitute a wholly unmerited attack on his reputation and his security. He spent six years of his life proving his innocence in a secret court process where even the accusations were not disclosed. After the federal court revoked the security certificate against him, he expressed the hope that he wouldn’t spend the rest of his life as an ‘ex-suspected’. Now, almost two years after the court cleared his name, he finds himself again in the court of public opinion. As he has asserted: “This must stop.”

We join in the calls to send a clear message to Mr. Kenney – through this open letter – that we will not be frightened into silence but will continue to fight for the rights of all and Mr. Adil Charkaoui in particular. We call for an investigation into this leak and demand that those responsible be held accountable. We furthermore call on other organizations and individuals in Canada to join us in denouncing Jason Kenney and demanding his resignation.

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