Vive Le Canada

Canada's Blind Eye to 'Torture'
Date: Sunday, April 24 2005

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Canada's Blind Eye to 'Torture'

The Sun's Kathleen Harris examines new documents that reveal Canada's former ambassador to Syria accepted a 'confession' from Maher Arar's captors

Parliamentary Bureau

04/23/05 "Ottawa Sun" - - CANADIAN officials were complicit or wilfully blind in Maher Arar's torture at the hands of his Syrian captors, supporters charged yesterday after a public inquiry released reams of new "top secret" documents.

The 2,300 pages reveal that Franco Pillarella, Canada's former ambassador to Syria, actively sought and passed on to RCMP and CSIS a summary of Arar's "confession" under interrogation.

Reports detail his Nov. 3, 2002 meeting with Gen. Khalil of the Syrian military intelligence, describing how Pillarella asked for a copy of information obtained by the Syrians to take back to Canada.

The summary, later translated from Arabic to English and called "Arar's confession," said the computer engineer spent time in terrorist training camps.

"While I was perishing in a Syrian dungeon, Mr. Pillarella asked for my interrogation reports, and there is no evidence in the documents that he was at all concerned with the methods they were using to get that information," Arar angrily reacted in a statement.

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