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.
Related rabble.ca story:
The Trial: A staged reading of Kafka's The Trial, in conjunction with Mohamed Harkat's Supreme Court challenge to secret trials in Canada
Join us for a special evening featuring Ottawa writers and performers:
"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)
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.
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.
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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Most couples sitting in courtrooms are there for separation and divorce proceedings. Not so Sophie and Mohamed (Moe) Harkat, who have spent years in court because they desperately wish to stay together. The Ottawa couple have spent the past decade resisting with all their might the attempt to make their marriage a threesome by a secretive party who, in a manner that most relationship counsellors would mark as a major red flag moment, refuses to be open and honest, all the while it questions the authenticity of the Harkats' love for one another.