The Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) would like to congratulate Adil Charkaoui on the decision made by Federal Court Judge Danièle Tremblay-Lamer who issued an order today to lift all conditions of the security certificate and is soon to be completely revoked. Mr. Charkoui has been held on a Security Certificate since 2003 which required him to wear an electronic monitoring device at all times, post bail and an order that he not associate with certain people. Security Certificates allow for CSIS to keep the evidence secret and present it to judges and ministers in secret hearings which is a gross violation of civil liberties. CAF is thankful that, although delayed, justice has prevailed in the case of Mr. Charkaoui. CAF was one of the interveners with the supreme court in 2007 when the court struck down the security certificate provision in Canada’s immigration law as unconstitutional because of the security hearing process.
This decision comes a day after Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin’s stated that “The fear and anger that terrorism produces… may lead governments to curtail civil liberties and seek recourse in tactics they might otherwise deplore … that may not, in the clearer light of retrospect, be necessary or defensible”. This has been the case with the treatment of many Arab and Muslim Canadians including Maher Arar, Adil Charkaoui, Abousfian Abdelrazik and the three men included in the Iacobucci internal inquiry: Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin.
CAF also supports Abousfian Abdelrazik as he sues the government and Foreign Minister, Lawrence Cannon, personally for $ 27 million in compensation after he spent nearly six years in prison or forced exile while his attempts to come home were thwarted. “CAF calls on the government to publicly apologize to Adil Charkaoui, Abousfian Abdirazik and Suad Hagi Mohamud and compensate them accordingly” added Khaled Mouammar CAF president. CAF also believes that all those who have been wrongfully detained should receive compensation and public apologies from the Canadian government. CAF Executive Director Mohamed Boudjenane added “In light of recent developments with Mr. Charkaoui’s case, the cases of other Security Certificate victims should be assessed immediately. Justice delayed is justice denied and it is time people get their lives back.”