More Arar

Here's some general information relating to the Arar case, including a timeline and a discussion of one of the relevant limits on the use of torture. The last two links suggest that it was the Canadians who fingered Arar to the US authorities, although whether they did so a routine matter or in the hopes that the US would do Canada's dirty work is not addressed. The Canadians do say that they never expected Arar to be sent to Syria, and didn't get advance warning of the transfer, although if that was the point of the exercise why would they?

  • Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) Arar timeline
  • Wikipedia Entry
  • Lawyers Committee Urges Investigation Into US Actions in Syrian Torture Case (Nov. 7, 2003), which says,

    Article 3 of the Convention on Torture, to which the United States is a party, states:

    No State Party shall expel, return ('refouler') or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture…. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.

    U.S. treaty obligations and policy have been implemented through regulations issued by the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department, that codify the United States' commitment not to send individuals to another country where they are likely to be tortured. Among other protections, these binding regulations require that individuals facing deportation or extradition be given an opportunity to be heard on the likelihood of torture in the country to which they are facing return. The Arar case suggests that either those procedures are not being followed, or that they are inadequate.

  • Ottawa asks U.S. for explanation of Arar case, but turns down public inquiry (Nov. 5, 2003)
  • Joseph Reagle, You Might Know a Terrorist, and Pay For It
  • Amnesty Canada
  • Canada supplied information used against Arar, says solicitor general (Nov. 19, 2003)

One should not be especially hopeful about the domestic Canadian inquiries unless Parliament or the Prime Minister set up a special independent panel, as the track record of police self-investigation in Canada isn't great. The standard police complaints body lacks the authority to get information from the security services, much less any means by which it can even send queries to the US side.

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties. Bookmark the permalink.