The Other Arars Where the Exception is the Rule

Posted by admin on May 29th, 2009

*ADIL CHARKAOUI* speaks in Vancouver on Security Certificates and Secret Trials.The Canadian state’s complicity in the torture of Maher Arar is viewed as exceptional in Canada. Unfortunately it isn’t.

Friday June 26th @ 6:30 PM. Rooms 1420-1430. SFU Harbour Centre (515 West Hastings. Limited seating, please arrive early to guarantee seating. Sliding scale $0-20 (pay what you can)

” What is a security certificate?
A security certificate,
It’s the right to be treated outside the law
It’s two-speed justice
It’s precedent for secret trials…
It’s contact visits with no contact
It’s the glass that separates you from loved ones,
It’s deadlock, solitude; it’s breathing corruption…
It’s the guilt of being born elsewhere…
It’s human folly clothed as wisdom.
It’s me today, maybe you tomorrow! ”
–  Excerpt of poem by Adil Charkaoui, translated from French

Adil Charkaoui is a Morocco-born permanent resident of Canada who was arrested by the Canadian government under a security certificate in May 2003 in Montreal. Along with four other Muslim men, he constitutes the “Secret Trial Five” held under a measure of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that allows for the preventive arrest and detention of non-citizens, without charge, under secret evidence that can lead to indefinite detention and possible deportation to torture.

From the beginning of his ordeal, Charkaoui challenged the legitimacy of the entire security certificate regime. In 2007, after years of grassroots campaigning at the national and international level and condemnations of Canada from Amnesty International and two United Nations Committees, the Supreme Court of Canada finally ruled that the security certificate process is unconstitutional. However, rather than abolishing security certificates, the government legislated a new “special advocate” model in 2008 which simply provides a veneer of legality to a fundamentally unjust process that allows for state secrecy in matters of “national security” that disproportionately affects racialized non-citizens.

Come hear directly from Adil Charkaoui about his struggle against this regime of secrecy, injustice, racism, abuse of civil liberties, and expanding state control.

Hosted by No One Is Illegal-Vancouver, BC Civil Liberties Association, Canadian Muslim Union, Council of Canadians – BC / Yukon Region, Canadian Islamic Congress, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

For information, contact 604 630 9754 or 778 552 2099 or

Justice for Adil Charkaoui Campaign:

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