While Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff touted himself as the saviour of Canada’s global reputation, his party was under fire Monday for supporting free trade with Colombia. Furious human rights activists chided the Liberals for playing up progress in the Latin American country as the contentious deal proceeds in Parliament.
After six years of subjecting Montrealer Adil Charkaoui to surveillance, imprisonment, and house arrest, the Canadian government finally admitted that they have insufficient evidence to uphold the Security Certificate.
Mr. Charkaoui was arrested under a security certificate in May 2003; he spent nearly two years in prison and four years under draconian conditions. The Security Certificate against Mr. Charkaoui has never been upheld by any court of law. In the course of his marathon legal battle, Charkaoui won two victories at the Supreme Court, forcing the government to modify the Security Certificate legislation and CSIS to change its information-gathering policies. During this time, he has never seen the
evidence that supposedly exists against him, evidence that was used as the basis of his imprisonment, subsequent house arrest and accompanying conditions, which have severely limited his freedom of movement, his ability to parent his three children, and his continued job as a French
Last month’s revelation was the coup de grâce in a series of developments indicating that the government’s case against Mr. Charkaoui was crumbling. In April, the Ministers told the court that they were withdrawing all information sourced to electronic surveillance from the file. Then, in
mid-July, they withdrew more information, this time from what CSIS refers to as “human sources.”
Judge Tremblay-Lamer, following the government’s admission of lack of evidence, stated that she will consider whether she should quash the certificate or order the Ministers to revoke it themselves, “in light of the admission by the Ministers that the evidence is insufficient to meet their burden of proof.”
COME TO COURT ON SEPTEMBER 24 and 25th: The Federal Court has therefore convened a hearing on 24 and 25 September to decide this question (see three questions outlined in the court directive of 5 August here: www.adilinfo.org/en/node/595).
Four other men, all Muslim, remain under a security certificate in Ontario, including Mohammad Mahjoub, the sole detainee in the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre, better known as “Guatanamo North”.
Around 1:30am, the Israeli army invaded Bil’in. Soldiers came to the home of Abdullah Mahmoud Abu Rahme , coordinator of the Bil’in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, to arrest him.
Abu Rahme was not at home at the time and soldiers proceeded to destroy belongings in his house.
When another member of the Popular Committee, Mohammad Khatib, arrived to check on Abu Rahme’s wife and 3 small children, Israeli forces severely beat him. Khatib was taken to Ramallah hospital for medical treatment.
Australia is to apologise for the appalling treatment meted out to thousands of boys and girls shipped to its shores as orphans
The British orphans were shipped to Australia where they were forced to labour, and subjected to vicious sexual assault by the Catholic Church. They had the same experience as the indigenous children in the colonized land, and now suffer the same problems faced by individuals subjected to residential schools. Except this only happened for one generation, and is not magnified by enduring racist policies as in the case of the indigenous peoples (by still magnified by classist policies). And there was not the simultaneous attack on the language and culture. Both are atrocious.
The first detailed casualty figures from an Israeli human rights organisation since the war ended puts the number of children under 16 killed in the offensive at 252 as opposed to the 89 cited by the military. B’Tselem says its fieldworkers gathered death certificates, photos, and testimonies relating to all 252 of the children.
Four months after the government’s attack on the Tamil people, in the name of defeating ELAM “aid groups have complained that conditions in the vast Menik Farms camp, where most people remain behind razor-wire, are still inadequate.”
Ottawa’s complicity in torture merits a national discussion
Haitian human rights lawyer Evel Fanfan estimates that six thousand people were arrested in Port-au-Prince because of their political loyalties in March 2004, the month following Aristide’s ousting. Although some were released soon afterward, since that time both the Haitian police and the UN peacekeepeing mission MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) have conducted aggressive operations in poor sectors of the capital, drag-netting youth at a faster rate than the Haitian judicial system can process.
This Friday, September 11, Cinema Politica is screening:
LEILA KHALED & THE WAR OF 33.
7:00 PM, Friday, Sept 11 at Conserver House, 180 St. John St.
This double-bill screening marks the 3rd anniversary of the Fredericton Peace Coalition.
LEILA KHALED: HIJACKER In 1969 Palestinian Leila Khaled made history by becoming the first woman to hijack an airplane. As a Palestinian child growing up in Sweden, filmmaker Lina Makboul admired Khaled for her bold actions; as an adult, she began asking complex questions about the legacy created by her childhood hero. This fascinating documentary is at once a portrait of Khaled, an exploration of the filmmaker’s own understanding of her Palestinian identity, and a complicated examination of the nebulous dichotomy between “terrorist” and “freedom fighter.”
THE WAR OF 33: LETTERS FROM BEIRUT is an intimate, personal and powerful telling of the story of the 2006 war in Lebanon. A series of letters written by Hanady Salman – a mother living through the war in Beirut – carve a narrative arc through the intense and haunting images of conflict. She tells the stories of her family and the people she lives the war with – the refugees, the wounded, and the everyday Lebanese, struggling to maintain their sanity and their humanity during a time of war. The War of 33 is more than a document of a particular historical experience. What emerges is a universal story – a complex picture of love, pain, resistance and survival in the face of uncertainty and violence.
Discussion follows films with members of the Fredericton Peace Coalition and Fredericton Palestine Solidarity.
Free films. Donations encouraged.
For more info, visit: www.cinemapolitica.org/fredericton or contact: email@example.com
Agence Haitienne de Presse (see article here) reports that Michel Forst, the UN’s independent expert on human rights in Haiti, is expressing concerns with the Haitian National Police. Haiti’s police force is being trained by the Canadian RCMP, although the RCMP is now trying to hand off this training on a private security force.