January 26, 2007

Canada apologises to man over extraordinary rendition case. USA silent

Filed under: politics — ubikcan @ 5:10 pm

From the BBC:

Canada has apologised to a man deported by US authorities to Syria, where he was imprisoned and allegedly tortured.

Maher Arar was detained in the US while returning to Canada from Tunisia. He has dual Syrian-Canadian citizenship.

A Canadian government inquiry cleared him of any involvement in terrorism. Syria denies that he was tortured.

PM Stephen Harper said Mr Arar would receive $10.5m (US$8.9m, £4.54m) compensation, and urged the US to drop him from its list of terror suspects.“On behalf of the government of Canada I would like to apologise to you… and your family for any role the government may have played in the terrible ordeal that all of you experienced in 2002 and 2003,” Mr Harper said.

Mr Arar had sought $37m (US$31.3, £16) in a civil suit.

The Canadian inquiry that exonerated Mr Arar said it was probable that US authorities were acting on information provided by Canadian authorities.

It also supported Mr Arar’s claims to have been tortured during his time in Syria.

It’s hard to see this as anything other than an implicit rebuke to the USA:

The BBC’s Lee Carter in Toronto says the case has left the Canadian government in sharp disagreement with the US.

Despite repeated calls from Canada to drop Mr Arar from its security watch list, the US refuses, saying it has reasons of its own to keep him on the list.


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