Report Concludes Arar Tortured

Posted on Friday, October 28 at 09:22 by jensonj
Toope believes another Ottawa man, Abdullah Almalki, as well as truck driver Ahmad Abou El-Maati and geologist Muayyed Nureddin, both of Toronto, also suffered serious physical and psychological trauma. Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian, was detained at a New York airport in September 2002 on suspicion of being a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network. U.S. authorities subsequently deported Arar to Syria via Jordan. He denies any involvement in terrorism. After being released in 2003, Arar made detailed allegations about extensive interrogation, beatings and being whipped with electrical cable in grim Syrian prison cells. In early 2004, the federal government established an inquiry to determine the role Canadian officials played in Arar's case. Arar wants to know whether Canada is complicit in contracting out torture to a country known to use violent methods to extract information from prisoners. Toope, president of the Montreal-based Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, conducted interviews with several people, including the four former prisoners, and studied classified government documents. The former dean of McGill University's law school was blunt in his findings about Arar's mistreatment. "I conclude that Mr. Maher Arar was subjected to torture in Syria," says the report. "The effects of that experience, and of consequent events and experiences in Canada, have been profoundly negative for Mr. Arar and his family." The report says Arar has experienced serious psychological effects and near-catastrophic financial woes.


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