Aug 10 2007
The Arar report, terrorism and Canadian security
When Justice Dennis O’Connor released his report on the Arar Commission, the Canadian government censored 1,500 words, pitting the commission against the Attorney-General at Federal Court hearings this spring.
In July, Mr. Justice Simon Noel ruled that some previously secret findings of the commission could be revealed without imperilling national security. Those sections were released Thursday. They reveal:
• The Canadian Security Intelligence Service was aware of the U.S. practice of “rendering” terrorism suspects to third countries for interrogation and torture, and that CSIS suspected early on that such a fate had befallen Mr. Arar.
• The Royal Canadian Mounted Police was in contact with the CIA at the time Mr. Arar was deported from New York to Jordan, then Syria, where he was tortured.
• When applying for search warrants, the RCMP relied on information received from a country with a poor human rights record, but never disclosed that record to the judge
• When applying for a wiretap warrant, the RCMP referred to a confession Ahmad El Maati made to the Syrians, even though the agency knew of Mr. El Maati’s subsequent claim that his confession had been made under torture.