U.S securityNovember 1 2002 at 8:19 PM
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|John Bayko (no login)|
from IP address 18.104.22.168
Response to Prudery or Security?
The Canadian government recently issued a travel warning to Canadian citizens, in particular those who were born in certain middle eastern countries such as Syria, Iran, and so on, to consider avoiding travel to the United States, because of the actions of U.S immigration officials.
At the beginning of October, an engineer named Maher Arar was returning to Canada from a trip with his wife and daughter to Tunesia. He got on the plane in Tunesia to return (to Toronto I think it was) - his wife stayed a few days longer. He never arrived in Canada.
It turns out he was scheduled to change planes in New York. Two weeks after he disappeared, his family got a phone call from him - he had been abducted by immigration officials and secretly taken to a detention facility. In violation of international law, the Canadian government was not informed of the detention of a Canadian citizen, and by the time the Canadian consulate request for access was responded to, he had disappeared again.
At no time was he allowed to see or speak to a lawyer.
Immigration officials had deported him - not to Canada, as a Canadian citizen, but to Syria, where he had left at age of seventeen (and apparently arrested for dodging compulsary militery service). With the full knowledge of the U.S immigration department.
In the year and a bit since the terrorist attacks on September 11, the U.S government has has become draconian in it's security activities. The persecution of the French woman is fairly minor, as these incidents go. And, they seem to be getting worse. Mr. Arar is not the only Canadian harassed, but his experience is the most extreme. It's frightening when people (American citizens, too) start "disappearing" as they used to do only in totalitarian states and third world countries.
Sorry for getting serious in this forum.
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- Re: Who dunnit - Nat on Nov 6, 2002