Tuesday, September 1, 2015

RCMP charge Syrian officer in Maher Arar torture

CBC is reporting that the RCMP have laid a charge in absentia against a Syrian intelligence officer accused of torturing Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar, the first-ever charge of its kind in Canada. Arar's lawyer, Paul Champ, said in Ottawa today that RCMP will attempt to extradite Col. George Salloum to Canada to face a charge of torture, which RCMP later confirmed. A Canada-wide warrant and Interpol notice have been issued for his arrest.

I'm a little bit confused about jurisdiction but this certainly opens up Pandora's box and is no doubt driven by Stephen Harper's election campaign. The question we need to now ask is are we going to charge the United States government for torturing a 15 year old Canadian boy and all the others in Guantánamo bay as well as in all the other black CIA torture sites around the world? When George Bush came to Surrey there were many protesters calling for the RCMP to arrest him. Well how about it? Can we do that now finally? Can the RCMP charge Stephen Harper for knowingly handing over prisoners in Afghanistan to be tortured? Please advise.

According to Wikipedia, "Maher Arar is a telecommunications engineer with dual Syrian and Canadian citizenship who has resided in Canada since 1987. Arar was detained during a layover at John F. Kennedy International Airport in September 2002 on his way home to Canada from a family vacation in Tunis. He was held without charges in solitary confinement in the United States for nearly two weeks, questioned, and denied meaningful access to a lawyer. The US government suspected him of being a member of Al Qaeda and deported him, not to Canada, his current home and the passport on which he was traveling, but to Syria, even though its government is known to use torture. He was detained in Syria for almost a year, during which time he was tortured, according to the findings of a commission of inquiry ordered by the Canadian government, until his release to Canada. The Syrian government later stated that Arar was "completely innocent."[8][9] A Canadian commission publicly cleared Arar of any links to terrorism, and the government of Canada later settled out of court with Arar. He received C$10.5 million and Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally apologized to Arar for Canada's role in his terrible ordeal."

So here's the deal. Here's a Canadian with dual citizenship returning home from a holiday in Africa. The plane stops over at JFK on it's way back to Canada and he is unlawfully detained for two weeks. He asks for a lawyer and is told he does not have a right to a lawyer because he is not a US Citizen. That is satanic. I got into the same argument myself with US Border Agents who claimed Canadians randomly detained at the border unlawfully don't have a right to a lawyer because they are governed by Immigration law not the Constitution. That is a heinous lie.

The US Constitution says "No State shall deny to any person within it's jurisdiction equal protection of the law." The US Constitution says all people not all citizens. To claim that Canadians in the US don't have a right to a lawyer because they are not US Citizens is false. That's a Sarah Airhead Palin misinterpretation of the Constitution. The problem is, they disagree and a corrupt court upheld them. God help us. Oath keepers arise.


  1. its all well and good to charge the Syrian officer who tortured Arar. I'd like to see them arrest the Canadians who said it was o.k. for Arar to be shipped off to be tortured. I'd like to see those Canadians be put on trial and I'd like to see the Canadian officials who let it go on that long, be brought to justice. They all walked away from it.

    Its just so easy to tag the Syrians with this, but Canadian officials and American officials played a very big part in this. They ought to be brought to trial. They weren't doing their jobs diligently.

    1. Exactly. Harper is trying to spin this into a PR event for him when in reality he is the one who should be charged for letting it happen.

    2. How is Harper the one who should be charged for letting this happen?

      He was not Prime Minister at the time nor was his party in power.

      It was Chretien who was PM. It was the Li(e)berals who where in power and it was Paul Martin (another Li(e)beral) who was PM after Chretien.

      If anyone should be held responsible it would be these two and the Liberal party as a whole. By extension, it is Trudeau who should be raked over the coals over this.

    3. Whoa, 2002? I had assumed it was much more recent since it involved Syria. For me the main concern is the United States' claim that no Canadian is entitled to a lawyer at the border or in the country and can be held without a charge at any time. That is astounding.

      The US were the ones that sent him to Syria instead of back to Canada and are therefore culpable. Chretien could have lobbied to over turn the decision if he was aware of it before they sent him. Yet I don't think Chretien was on very good terms with George Bush.

  2. If I remember correctly, the Canadian government was fully complicit in his detention and knew it was going to happen prior to his return flight.

    1. If that is true then Chretien would indeed be culpable. However, we know that Chretien rightfully opposed the unlawful invasion of Iraq based on a lie and Harper supported it even after the lie was proven. We know Harper would not have opposed it if he was in power at the time.

      Amnesty International claims Chretien was not aware of the deportation until after it happened. The Canadian Intelligence Resource Centre states that Newly obtained documents shed light on how Maher Arar was freed from Syria only after direct communications between former prime minister Jean Chrétien and the President of Syria: http://circ.jmellon.com/docs/view.asp?id=727


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