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Taking action against secret trials in Canada

Photo: John Bonnar.
On Tuesday afternoon, Mohammad Mahjoub and his supporters stood outside the CSIS Toronto region office building to mark 12 years of detention without charge.

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Productive week for Canada's desk torturers in Harkat, Diab cases

Photo: Mike Gifford/flickr

Two judicial decisions released last week remind us that the concept of national security is incompatible with democracy: the former almost always trumps the latter, and various enemies-du-jour are regularly created and then served up on the altar of "security." In each instance, profoundly disturbing decisions were dealt to Mohamed Harkat, facing deportation to torture in Algeria based on secret hearsay, and Hassan Diab, facing extradition to France on clearly trumped up allegations likely gleaned from torture.

Harkat ruling is serious blow to human rights in Canada

The Supreme Court decision Wednesday to uphold the Security Certificate process is devastating news for Mohamed Harkat and a serious blow to human rights in Canada.

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Photo: Mike Alexander/flickr
| May 15, 2014

Supreme Court's secret hearing and Judge Nadon's Charter dismissal

Photo: wyliepoon/flickr

Just before Thanksgiving, the Supreme Court of Canada held two days of hearings regarding the fate of Mohamed Harkat, detained in prison and under house arrest for over a decade by a secret trial security certificate, the reasons for which he has never been allowed to know and challenge. October 10 was a public hearing that he could attend, while October 11 was one he was not invited to, nor were his lawyers, the media, or the public. In fact, the eight judges of the Supreme Court disappeared to hold a secret hearing somewhere in Canada.

Death to democracy: Mohamed Harkat and the secret trial

Photo: Mike Alexander/flickr
Today October 11, the Supreme Court of Canada will be in session today for the trail of Mohamed Harkat, but the building will be empty and the nine judges missing.

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Supreme Court of Canada. Photo: Mike Alexander/flickr
| October 10, 2013

The Trial: A staged reading of Kafka's The Trial, in conjunction with Mohamed Harkat's Supreme Court challenge to secret trials in Canada

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 7:30pm - 9:00pm


St Paul's University Ottawa, ON

Join us for a special evening featuring Ottawa writers and performers:
Matthew Behrens
Zachary Counsil
Alan Cumyn
Richard Gélinas*
Elizabeth Hay
Teri Loretto
Monia Mazigh
Laurel Smith*
Louisa Taylor
"Someone must have been telling lies about Joseph K., for without having done anything wrong he was arrested one fine morning." – Kafka
"On December 10, 2002, Ottawa's Mohamed Harkat was arrested and detained on a secret trial security certificate, and 11 years later, he still does not know why."  – Canada
Thursday, October 10, 7:30 pm, St. Paul's University Ampitheatre, 223 Main Street (free street parking, paid parking in the lot)


Supreme Court to hold secret hearing on Harkat case

September 27, 2013
| On October 11, the judges of the Supreme Court of Canada will meet in a secret location to hear evidence against Mohamed Harkat, first arrested under a security certificate in 2002.
Length: 12:54 minutes (11.82 MB)

Secret case keeps Freeman from coming home

Photo: darkroom productions/flickr

Anytime a government wants to hide its errors and illegality, it pulls down the shades of national security confidentiality and refuses to disclose any information. Time and again, the Canadian government's own cries for secrecy have been found to be without substance. Federal court decisions, judicial inquiries into complicity in torture, and various freedom of access to information requests have revealed the extent to which secrecy becomes the convenient way out from having to explain and be held accountable for lousy policy, inhumane actions and sheer incompetence.

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