This place is all that is left.
Fulltime enMasse Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
|Posted: Mon May 12, 2008 4:16 am Post subject: Anti-Torture Caravan Reflections (shared)
|Breaking the Silence: Reflections from the Road on the Caravan to End
Canadian Involvement in Torture
(A selection of photos from the Caravan appear at
At the bottom of this email are four links to video footage of the
Caravan, including an interview with Muayyed Nureddin, as well as
information on follow-up actions to end Canadian complicity in torture)
May 10, 2008 -- As members of the Caravan to End Canadian Involvement
in Torture reached their final stopping point May 7 at the national
headquarters of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS),
agitated spies in the massive architorture structure in east-end Ottawa
simply pulled the blinds.
It was a fitting symbolic gesture consistent with the thematic
continuum that greeted Caravan members during their eight day journey
through Central and Eastern Ontario as they confronted sites of
Canadian complicity in torture. A combination of denial and transfer of
responsibility to some other party typified responses of government and
corporate officials who refused dialogue and met caravan members with
lines of police and RCMP, surveillance cameras, and locked office
While not surprising -- who wants to admit that they are complicit in
torture? -- the closed-door response seemed to prove one of the points
of the Caravan: the hallmarks of openness, transparency, and
accountability that serve as the foundation of democracy get shut down
when infected by such noxious practices as torture and complicity in
human rights abuses.
The Caravan sought to break the silence around such complicity,
including the training and teaching relationship the Canadian
government holds with the U.S.-based “School of the Assassins”, ongoing
efforts to deport refugees to torture from Canada, the government’s
refusal to condemn the Guantanamo Bay detention centre, Canada’s role
in hosting potential CIA rendition to torture flights, the Canadian
rendition to torture of Algerian refugee Benamar Benatta on September
12, 2001, and Canada’s subcontracting the torture of Canadian citizens
in Syria, Egypt, and Sudan, among many other issues.
A SIMPLE CHALLENGE FOR CSIS
At the front gates of CSIS, one of the federal agencies that played a
major role in the torture of Canadians Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El
Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin, a fine rain dampened about 35 members of
the Caravan as they held an impromptu teach-in for the line of Ottawa
police and RCMP officers who prevented their entry into the facility.
“I have just one question for the people in CSIS,” El Maati said,
looking for the first time at the building housing the agents who have
targetted him for harassment, interrogation, and overseas torture. “I
want someone from CSIS to come down here, look me in the eyes, and
explain to me why they rendered me to torture in Egypt and Syria.”
It was an incredibly powerful and fitting moment as the Caravan
arrived in Ottawa: three men -- Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki and
Muayyed Nureddin -- seeking to confront those responsible for their
torture, both at CSIS, the RCMP, and other agencies of the federal
All three men are the subject of the “Internal Inquiry into the
Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad
Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin.” Although their names grace the
inquiry, their attendance is prohibited. The doors are also closed to
their lawyers, the media, and the public.
This completely secret inquiry is supposed to determine the role of
Canadian officials in the torture of these three men, and the last time
the inquiry reared its rarely seen public face -- for two days of legal
submissions in January of this year -- commissioner Frank Iacobucci
confidently told those assembled that he had viewed some 35,000 pages
of documents and heard from 40 witnesses, and that things were going
THE SECRET TORTURE INQUIRY
But how could things be going well when the men have not been able to
see one word from one page of those documents, nor hear the evidence of
the witnesses, all in the name of “national security”? But as we have
learned from the Arar Inquiry, among many other examples, claims of
national security confidentiality are congenitally overbroad. Almost
always, such claims are designed not to protect anyone’s security but
rather to shield the government from potential public outrage upon
exposure of its nefarious dealings.
So rather than creating a safe and secure inquiry space for the men to
determine how and why this has happened to them, the government of
Canada has completely shut them out of the process. To its shame, the
government has literally forced these men out onto the road where they
joined the Caravan and took the greatest risk any traumatized
individual can take: sharing their most vulnerable selves with total
strangers in the hope that people would be moved enough to pressure the
government to open up the inquiry as a first step towards eliminating
the abuses that led to such a human rights nightmare in the first
And so Mssrs. Almalki, Nureddin, and El Maati joined between 30 and 50
people each day of the caravan in confronting Canadian governmental and
corporate institutions that are involved in the global torture
industry. They also took on the silence that has shrouded the inquiry
by taking their case straight to the public, on street corners, at
shopping malls, in high schools, in churches, in a variety of other
POSITIVE PUBLIC RESPONSE
It is safe to say that Caravan members were pleasantly surprised at
the almost overwhelming positive public reaction that greeted them in
such settings. Indeed, rather than asking whether the government “had
anything” on these three men, as some in the media are wont to do, the
common question was an outraged demand -- “how could our government do
this?” -- followed by the refrain that no one could trust government
But there were also those who were upset and anxious when the group
set up in each of the dozens of communities it passed through.
Especially chilling were the group of black-hooded, orange
jumpsuit-wearing “detainees” who knelt in a position of forced
submission on street corners, at the entrances to shopping malls, and
in front of the constituency offices of Members of Parliament as other
Caravan members handed out thousands of information flyers on Canadian
connections to torture.
That such imagery proved disturbing speaks both to its power and the
calculated use of such techniques by those who torture: the real-life
use of the hoods, jumpsuits, and other sensory deprivation techniques
are designed as much to humiliate, disturb, degrade, and dehumanize
those forced into these outfits as they are meant to silence those who,
fearing the same fate, are compelled to silence.
UPSETTING CANADA’S MYTHMAKING
Of course, revealing secrets and the bleak underside of the happy
Canadian state face is bound to be upsetting, for Canada is a land
built largely on mythmaking: the multicultural paradise built on
genocide of First Nations, the peacemaking nation that is home to some
of the world’s most profitable war industries, the human rights
defender that trades with torturers, the land of “rule of law” that
has two-tier justice based on citizenship status, the welcoming nation
that deports to torture and other cruel treatment.
While it is impossible in so short a space to sum up the total
experience of the Caravan -- such an endeavour, especially distilled
through the eyes and hearts of the scores of individuals who gave up
their regular schedules to take part would require a book length
reflection -- there were a number of moments that struck this writer as
particularly memorable, among them:
The May 1 Torture Tour of Toronto, which combined 35 Caravan members
with about 25 students and staff from the Caledon East Robert F. Hall
high school, where teacher Gary Connally, wearing an orange jumpsuit,
had begun a week-long fast to highlight the issues raised by the
Caravan. The creativity, passion, and insights of the students provided
an immediate community-building impetus for a group of folks who, in
many instances, had just met for the first time.
The Torture Tour took in a series of Toronto-area landmarks tied to
torture, whether the Canadian Border Services Agency (via deportations
to torture and no existing policy on the use of evidence gleaned from
torture) and penal institutions where refugees live in a state of limbo
and others have spent years in solitary confinement to corporations
like L-3 (a military manufacturer whose Titan wing was the subject of a
class action lawsuit by torture survivors at Abu Ghraib).
SKYSERVICE: TAXI TO TORTURE?
A particularly telling moment occurred as the groups made their way to
the offices of Skyservice, a corporation that provides charter flights
to a range of groups, including the Canadian government. For months,
members of Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture have sought through
letters, emails and phone calls to arrange a meeting with Skyservice,
but have received no response. The group seeks a meeting to discuss
concerns regarding Federal Court testimony in a security certificate
case in which the CBSA said Skyservice would be the airline used to
deport individuals held under Canada’s draconian secret hearing system.
All would face torture if removed from Canada, and Stop Canadian
Involvement in Torture has sought a meeting to discuss concerns about
the role of Skyservice in flying individuals to such a fate.
A man who refused to identify himself did come out and speak with some
of the students, but kept insisting that we had come to the wrong
office, that this was not the right place to be, etc. When pressed, he
eventually did admit that his firm did contract with the Canadian
government and did “move prisoners” but was not involved in the “thing”
we were protesting. (Torture is the “thing” to which he was referring;
perhaps it hit too close to the bone to mention it in the same breath
as the corporation that employs him).
He advised us that we should protest at the source of the problem, the
Canadian government. We reassured him that the government was on our
list of visits and that, indeed, we had just been at the CBSA. He
replied that the police would be called shortly to have us removed
because we were causing employees to feel “angst”. This was a good
thing, we said, because it SHOULD cause angst when serious human rights
questions come into play. They are not easily dismissed. (A youtube
video of the dialogue is available at:
The group also stood vigil at the Metro West Detention Centre, where
secret trial detainees Hassan Almrei, Mahmoud Jaballah and Mohammad
Mahjoub spent years in solitary confinement under the most intolerable
conditions, including no heat during the wintertime. Lengthy,
life-threatening hunger strikes resulted. Almost immediately guards and
supervisors came out and ordered the group to remove itself, even
though we were a fair distance from the main entrance.
CONFRONTING THE MOUNTIES
At each stop, students led songs, shared poems and reflections, and
expressed outrage upon learning of the nature of the work of certain
institutions in their community (see more at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=su34GHABjMU&feature=user). At the RCMP,
they were introduced to Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin, and heard
of numerous attempts to present the Mounties with personalized copies
of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (a gift that was
inspired by the way the Mounties often behaved, as if they had lost
their copy of the Charter!)
The group proceeded to walk right into the main entrance of the
building which, normally locked up, was made accessible when an angry
Mountie came out to remove a flyer someone had placed on his
windshield, forgetting to slam the door behind him.
A group of about 30 crowded into the reception area and asked to speak
to someone, seeking answers to questions that were not forthcoming from
the secret inquiry. Through the main window we could see Mounties
scurrying behind their desks, peeking out from time to time from their
office dividers, a sight we found quite curious given the nonviolent,
laid back nature of our gathering. Then again, perhaps it was quite
understandable, since many of us seemed to fit the common profile of
security threats in past RCMP memos, which have labelled as high risk
the United Church, the Anglican Church, Raging Grannies, peace and
social justice organizations, and other civil society representatives.
El Maati and Nureddin both held placards with quotes from the Arar
Inquiry explaining the complicity of the RCMP in their overseas
torture, something which the Mounties’ designated spokesperson failed
to understand when she informed us that the role of the RCMP is to
protect the interests of Canadians. It certainly did not protect the
interests of these Canadians, we pointed out, with one quote on the
“On January 10, [RCMP] Staff Sergeant Callaghan advised Staff Sergeant
Fiorido that in an interview held in Egypt. Mr. El Maati had stated
that the Syrians had tortured him. These allegations did not raise a
red flag for Staff Sergeant Fiorido with respect to the questions being
sent for Mr. Almalki. “t was never a concern because it was never
considered.” (The RCMP had been told in an interdepartmental meeting
that sending questions to the Syrians who were holding Mr. Almalki
might cause him to be tortured, but the RCMP sent them anyway).
As Skyservice told us we were at the wrong place, so the RCMP chimed
in as well, saying we should visit their London office and speak to
their media relations person. We responded that we would be at their
national headquarters a week later, and asked them to pass that message
on with a request to have documents ready so that the men could peruse
what they were unable to see at the secret inquiry.
At one point, we were asked to provide a phone number where the RCMP
could contact us with a response. We provided the number for Stop
Canadian Involvement in Torture, but then added they probably knew it
already, since they would need it in order to tap our line. “Of
course,” she smiled, with no trace of irony.
TORONTO’S REFUGEE JAIL
Always shocking is the nondescript building behind the barbed wire on
Toronto’s Rexdale Boulevard that houses the refugee jail, a former
hotel whose windows are now criss-crossed by metal bars. Students had
an immediate visceral reaction to seeing people their own age and
younger waving at them from the windows, and detainees cheered for
those cheering from the outside. We sang “Away in Detention” (to the
tune Away in a Manger) among other solidarity songs. Students began an
impromptu “Freedom” chant as they boarded their bus for their next
destinations. Other stops included CFB Downsview -- making the
connections between the Canadian occupation of Afghanistan and
complicity in transfer of detainees to torture, as well as the military
reltionship with the School of the Assassins -- and heard from Erika
Horvath and her 13-year-old son Adam, who discussed the fear they felt
for the planned forced removal their loved one, protected person Adolf
Horvath, to Hungary where, as a Roma, he faces persecution and
After winding up at the Hungarian consulate, the Caravan began
preparations for its journey north and east of Toronto. On Day 2, a
steady rain failed to dampen the spirits of the caravan members, who
started at a Canadian Forces recruiting centre and made various stops
at malls along Yonge Street heading north to Richmond Hill United
Church, which provided a warm lunch break, and then on to Aurora, where
the group was met by torture survivor and author Marina Nemat (Prisoner
of Tehran), who spoke from the steps of the mysteriously closed office
of MP Belinda Stronach. Nemat added her name to the voices calling for
an open inquiry.
The group was met by closed MP offices throughout York Region, no
doubt courtesy of the York Regional Police Intelligence squad, which
offered to “facilitate the caravan’s passage through the region” but
whose communications with MPs’ offices no doubt led to their early
closings. Nevertheless, vigils in Holland Landing and Bradford drew
lots of inquiring stares and questions as the group made their way to
Barrie, where the office of Conservative MP Patrick Brown received an
STUNNED STAFF GREETED BY HOODED DETAINEES
Indeed, staff were stunned to see hooded detainees in their reception
area. We explained what was going on, and after we were told the MP
could not meet with us, a red-faced office worker, who appeared visibly
moved hearing the experiences being shared by Muayyed Nureddin and
Ahmad El Maati, came out and said he would in fact be able to meet. Two
police officers showed up, though, and took notes as the group met with
the MP in the open area. We called on Brown to communicate the need
for an open inquiry to his Tory colleagues and asked that he facilitate
a meeting with the prime minister’s office. He promised to do this and
said that a meeting would be easy to arrange since the PMO has 120
staff (yet no one was available the following Thursday in Ottawa!)
On Day 3 of the Caravan, the group was joined by fasting teacher Gary
Connally for a noon hour vigil in downtown Orillia with a local Quaker
peace group that has maintained a five-year weekly vigil against war.
Despite heavy rains, the group moved on to Lindsay, where they walked
through town and vigilled at the Central East Correctional Centre, an
imposing concrete and barbed wire complex housing First Nations leader
Bob Lovelace, serving six months for resisting the torture of the earth
via proposed uranium mining on Ardoch Algonquin lands.
The Lindsay press failed to show up, so, employing a trick we learned
from our 2006 Freedom caravan through the area, we unfurled our banners
at the jail’s entrance, to be greeted within minutes by jail staff and
then four squad cars. Turns out the media’s main interest on weekends
is monitoring police radio for any interesting activity and, as in
2006, they did show up after hearing the cops chatting us up on their
ON TO OTTAWA
The Caravan continued on in a similar fashion all the way to Ottawa,
with public events and dinners hosted in Peterborough by Kawartha
Ploughshares and in Cobourg by members of the Christ the Servant
congregation. The latter took place in the Cold Springs Community Hall,
which each Sunday served as their church ever since they had followed
their priest after he was removed from the diocese for having the
temerity to think freely and question rigid dogma.
The audiences for talks on Canadian complicity in torture were quite
varied, from an Amnesty International group in Napanee celebrating 25
years of struggling for human rights to an amazing group of students
and teachers at St. Mary’s Catholic High School in Cobourg, which
hosted a major presentation from Almalki, Nureddin, and El Maati.
Students sat attentively through a two hour talk and power point
presentation, asking many questions and expressing their shame and
disgust for the criminal behaviour of the Canadian government.
(Significantly, students from this school were among the first group of
people in Canada to hold a public vigil in support of the rights of
Omar Khadr, the Canadian teenager still held at Guantanamo Bay. Many of
them went on the next day to join Quebec students for a Parliament Hill
rally calling for the repetriation of Khadr).
Other stops included smaller communities like Brighton (where students
leaving high school for the day eagerly received information, signed
petitions, and denounced complicity in torture while waiting for their
school buses) and Colborne, where a group of elderly gentlemen enjoying
the first “beer on a patio” day of the spring expressed their support
and told us to give heck to “those [expletives] in Ottawa.”
Along the way, the community of Caravaners continued to grow, with
many who had originally planned to be on it for a short time deciding
to go the whole route. Among those were a wonderful film crew from Ramz
Media, an independent production company that makes documentaries and
short films that address social and political issues in creative and
insightful ways, contributing to enhanced awareness and positive
action. (See a selection from their filmography at www.ramzprod.com)
VIGIL AT GITMO NORTH
Before heading in to Kingston, the Caravan made a stop at Millhaven
Penitentiary (aka Gitmo North), where secret trial detainee Hassan
Almrei remains held in the most expensive solitary confinement cell in
Canada, the $3.2 million Kingston Immigration Holding Centre. His
153-day hunger strike in 2007 for better conditions was one in a string
that Hassan has undertaken for basic rights denied him under the
secretive “security certificate” regime which, though declared
unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of Canada, was reintroduced
handily and passed by a combined Conservative-Liberal vote earlier this
year. Again, the group was subject to photo surveillance, yet guards
protested when our film crew began taking pictures.
“How would you feel if you were having your photo taken at work?”
asked one guard.
“We are working for justice, and you are taking our photos,” came the
MPS: SO OUT OF TOUCH
Being on the road with the Caravan was a wonderful reminder of how
completely out of touch many Members of Parliament can be. Indeed, when
one meets with Parliamentarians on such issues as torture and secret
hearings, we are often told that, of course, THEY are against such
atrocities, but they cannot speak out because how are they to face “Joe
on the Street” in their constituencies who have “concerns about
terrorism, etc.” The response is that they likely never do meet the
“Joe on the Street,” for it was rare that we encountered serious
opposition to what we were doing. Rather, a little bit of dialogue on
the street goes a long way to understanding of what is wrong and what
needs to be done to right that wrong. Thousands of postcards were
signed and petitions filled out by that “person on the street” along
the way, with more coming in by the day.
As the Caravan rolled in to Ottawa, the skies opened up and poured
down rain, but spirits were high as we gathered at the entrance to CSIS
at 1941 Ogilvie Road. The imposing concrete structure, someone
remarked, looked exactly like the kind of place that housed torture
cells in the Middle East. As usual, we were lectured by the RCMP on
what we could and could not do, but we went ahead and did what we
planned on: walking as close as we could to the front of the massive
structure, only to be met by a line of police and Mounties in front of
an electronic fence.
Courtesy of an excellent sound system brought by a local organizer,
we were able to broadcast our message loud and clear to the many people
listening both in front of and behind that fence. As the two groups
stared down one another, we engaged in teach-in on Nuremberg
Principles, the Convention Against Torture, and Canada’s international
and domestic responsibilities with respect to the absolute prohibition
on torture. It was an interesting site: the RCMP, clearly complicit in
torture (as documented by the Arar Inquiry) preventing our entry to
CSIS, an agency that uses information gleaned from torture.
TORTURE: A CANCER ON THE BODY POLITIC
We asked why the RCMP was “protecting” CSIS from the people instead of
protecting the people from CSIS. Caravan members movingly explained why
they were here, from one young teenager who asked what the Mounties
would do if they were in the shoes of Mssrs. Almalki, El Maati and
Nureddin, to a senior citizen who called for an end to the harassment,
surveillance, and intimidation against Canada’s Arabic and Muslim
Direct eye contact was limited, a fact picked up on by one Caravan
member who asked why some police officers smirked at us and others
could not look us in the eye. We explained that torture and complicity
in torture are like a disease that infects and damages the body
politic, and that as members of these institutions, the RCMP and CSIS
officers watching had a responsibility to put an end to the practice
and become whistleblowers.
All during this time, no one got in or out of CSIS, and eager
bureaucrats behind the fence could not leave for the day. As one group
stayed at the main entrance, another walked around to one of the sides
of the building, singing freedom songs and climbing one hill, where
hooded detainees knelt in the spring grass in clear view of the
hundreds of windows on the west side of the CSIS complex.
The following day, the group met at the foot of the Prime Minister’s
Office, delivering thousands of cards and petition signatures calling
for a public inquiry. Despite having 120 staff, no one in the PMO could
grant a few minutes to the three men.
During one part of the trek, El Maati pointed out that we were passing
through an area, Tunney’s Pasture, which was on a tourist map that was
part of the “rationale” for his torture. The group then continued on
its torture tour of Ottawa, from the Ottawa offices of L-3 and the CBSA
to the Supreme Court of Canada (whose 2002 Suresh ruling left open the
door to removal to torture) and the Justice Dept. (whose lawyers sat in
on the meetings about the targetting of Mssrs. Arar, Almalki, El Maati
and Nureddin), the War Dept. Department of Foreign Affairs and
international Trade, and finally, the national headquarters of the
RCMP FILMS THOSE IT HAD A HAND IN TORTURING
At one stop, a group of students touring Ottawa were told by their
teacher not to take our flyers, because of fears over parental
reactions when the kids got home. When asked whether students were
allowed to pick up government propaganda in the House of Commons
praising our system of governance, he said of course, that was not a
problem. So why the difference in approach when it came to our flyers?
Was it another case of the blinds coming down when a controversial
issue is raised?
At the RCMP we were again met by a heavy police presence, lights
flashing on the police cars, and a video surveillance officer filming
the gathering. That the RCMP, after all the evidence of the role its
faulty “intelligence” played in the torture of Mr. Arar and the role
its questions had played in the torture of Mssrs. Almalki and El Maati,
would have the nerve to so openly film us engaged in Charter-protected
peaceful protest was truly outrageous, and we challenged them to stop,
asking whether film of us protesting there would end up being used in
some future overseas act of torture.
Questioned about the surveillance, one RCMP officer explained it was
for “the investigation.” When queried about the nature of said
investigation, we were informed it was too protect us from potential
acts of violence should our gathering be “infiltrated.”
After speaking to the RCMP in a manner similar to the address we made
at CSIS, Mssrs. El Maati and Nureddin again asked the same questions
that had informed the Caravan route: Why were they tortured in Syria?
Why did this happen? Why?
The group ended the caravan on a hill in front of the large RCMP sign
singing We Shall Overcome, and added in the verse “One Day Mike will
join us,” a reference to the RCMP liaison officer who followed us
throughout our Ottawa journey.
RUNNING INTO HARPER IN TORONTO
Once back in Toronto, one group of Caravan members found themselves
trapped in a traffic jam created by the passage of a police escort for
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was being sped in his limo to a
pro-Israel rally. How ironic, someone commented. We went all the way
to Ottawa to see Harper to talk about ending Canadian complicity in
torture and here he was where we started, heading to an event to
celebrate an allied nation that is also complicit in torture. Indeed,
Canada’s foreign affairs department listed Israel as a site of torture
in an internal training manual which, when made public by accident, was
rewritten to exclude the reference. And so the blinds come down again
In the end, the Caravan represented many things. It is hard to explain
the kind of bond one develops in an 8-day period when involved in such
an intensely personal journey, meeting and getting to know individuals
who have endured, and continue to suffer from, the effects of torture,
men whose rights continue to be denied them here in Canada. The Caravan
becomes a community on wheels, with folks taking care of one another,
working to get the message out, enduring difficult weather, sleeping on
church floors, and sorting through the tangled emotions of love, grief,
and rage we were all feeling as we grew closer and coalesced around the
courage and simple demands for truth from Almalki, El Maati and
The Caravan was a forum not just for discussing the crimes, but also
ways of resisting those crimes. The individual and collective
creativity of the group, their sense of humour despite the difficult
subject matter, and their commitment to see justice done was a rare
inspiration. As was, of course, the courage and of three men to speak
the truth even as the government admits “investigations” of the men are
All of this could not have happened without the amazing contributions
of time and energy of folks in all the towns we visited, who went out
of their way to provide food, billeting, advertising for public events,
and a warm welcome for the road weary.
CSIS INSPECTOR GENERAL FAULTS AGENCY SLOPPINESS LEADING TO “GRAVE”
At a number of points, Mr. Almalki commented that through the Caravan
he saw a side of Canada that he had not seen for many years. The
outpouring of support was a revelation that at heart, the people of
this land, when properly informed, will respond to the challenges posed
by government criminality.
As the Caravan members made their way home, the CSIS Inspector General
released her annual report. Eva Plunkett noted that she is disturbed by
the sloppiness of CSIS, and in a chilling comment that spoke directly
to the heart of the caravan, concluded,
“In my Certificate last year, I shared ... concerns about information
handling by the Service. I must report that the matter of information
reporting and holdings by the Service, and the accuracy of information,
continue to be an area of concern....A transcription error could have
potentially profound impacts. The potential consequences, if action is
taken by the Service, their interlocutors or the government based on
these inaccuracies, could be grave. In view of this potential, accuracy
Needless to say, it goes beyond what the consequences “could” be to
what they already have been, for Mssrs. Almalki, Arar, El Maati,
Nureddin, and no doubt many others.
Much of the Inspector General’s report is redacted for reasons of
“national security.” Report is available at
WHAT’S NEXT TO END CANADIAN INVOLVEMENT IN TORTURE
Each week from May 1 to June 26, Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
is asking people across the country to take part in anti-torture
actions. Week one’s action was to sign the petition calling for an open
inquiry into the role of Canadian officials in the torture (see
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/729860832). The petition is
still up and signatures are needed!
Week Two’s Action:
For an End to Solitary Confinement in Canada:
On May 14 in Toronto, Six Hours Against Solitary Confinement is a
day-long vigil to protest the government’s detention of three young
men, arrested in June, 2006, and held in continuous solitary
confinement ever since. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that one year
in solitary would likely not withstand a Charter challenge as cruel and
unusual punishment. These young men have been in segregation TWICE as
Call and email Rick Bartolucci, Ontario Minister of Community Safety
and Correctional Services, and demand the end of solitary confinement
for Fahim Ahmad, Zakaria Amara, and Mohammad Dirie
Phone: (416) 325-0408, (866) 517-0571
If you are in Toronto, join us for part or all of the vigil at 25
Grosvenor St. (north and west of College and Yonge)
Watch for weekly actions in your email box.
Also mark August 26 as the day “Dark Days,” a new book about the cases
of Mssrs. Arar, Almalki, El Maati, and Nureddin, written by Kerry
Pither and published by Penguin Canada, hits the bookstores.
View Video of the first few days of the caravan:
RF Hall Joins Caravan Against Torture
Caravan Against Torture & Interview with Muayyed Nureddin
Interview with Gary Connally, on a week-long fast
Confronting Skyservice - who provide rendition flights to Torture
(Report from Matthew Behrens of Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture.
The Caravan was a major project involving a lot of expenses. Folks
wishing to contribute to our costs can mail cheques to Homes not Bombs
at PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. We can
issue charitable receipts for donations over a certain amount, but
contact us at email@example.com first to get more information)
Man! I hate them fancy-lads!
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Location: Under a bridge with a laptop
|Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 3:04 am Post subject:
|Please visit Abdullah's website, and please, for democracy's sake, sign the petition for a public inquiry.
and on that note...
Joined: 11 Apr 2006
|Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 11:06 am Post subject:
|Very moving, thwap. And petition signed, eph!
Scissors cuts paper. Paper covers rock. Rock crushes lizard. Lizard poisons Spock. Spock smashes scissors. Scissors decapitates lizard. Lizard eats paper. Paper disproves Spock. Spock vaporizes rock. And as it always has, rock crushes scissors.
Joined: 30 Apr 2006
|Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 3:01 pm Post subject:
|Thanks thwap and eph! Those kids are so inspirational. Gives me hope that Canada is not a lost cause.
“If my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a tractor.”
-- Gilles Duceppe
Fulltime enMasse Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
|Posted: Thu May 15, 2008 1:00 am Post subject:
|I didn't write that. It was an e-mail from Matthew Behrens that he encouraged us to share.
I'm working on a piece of my own.
Man! I hate them fancy-lads!
thereby hangs a tail
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
Location: 'twixt cinder block and drywall.
|Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:28 am Post subject:
|Only 520 signatures since the end of April!
Was that right, or did I get to the wrong petition?
Relieve The Troops — Bring Them Home Now!
Fulltime enMasse Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
|Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:51 am Post subject:
|No that was it. I signed a paper petition though. There's a couple thousand of those.
Man! I hate them fancy-lads!
Fulltime enMasse Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
|Posted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:42 am Post subject:
|Hey! CommonDreams picked it up!!
Man! I hate them fancy-lads!
Fulltime enMasse Member
Joined: 12 Apr 2006
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum