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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.

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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
Columnists

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.

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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
Redeye

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)
Columnists

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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Columnists

Canada's burning chambers: A secret Supreme Court hearing in October

Supreme Court of Canada. Photo: Mike Alexander/flickr

On October 11, as many Canadians focus on the best place to purchase a Thanksgiving turkey, the Supreme Court of Canada will be in session, but anyone wishing to attend that day's hearing will find the Court building empty, and the nine judges missing. Outside of a small handful of individuals, no one will know where the country's highest court will be sitting or what will be discussed.

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Columnists

Bureaucrats find secret trial process 'too protective of rights'

Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t/flickr

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The end of June marks 13 years of Mohammad Mahjoub's Kafkasesque journey. The Egyptian refugee and returnee from torture originally thought he was walking onto a Hollywood set when he was surrounded by heavily armed men and arrested while getting off a Toronto streetcar in 2000.

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