Monday, 18 September 2006

Maher Arar vindicated by inquiry

Justice Dennis O'Connor has concluded that Arar was an innocent victim and was not involved in al-Qaeda activities in any way, as U.S. officials had alleged.

O'Connor criticizes the RCMP for supplying misleading, inaccurate information to their American counterparts, for releasing information without reviewing it first, and for trying to whitewash their role in the affair.

The government too comes in for censure:
But O'Connor said reports were prepared by government officials after Arar's release that had the "effect of downplaying the mistreatment or torture to which Mr. Arar had been subjected."

He also slammed Canadian officials for leaking "confidential and sometimes inaccurate information about the case to the media for the purpose of damaging Mr. Arar's reputation or protecting their self-interests or government's interests."

In my mind, the most important thing now is for the government to put measures in place to ensure that this never happens again. The Anti-terrorist Act in particular needs a major overhaul.

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