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Ten years later, Harkats more determined than ever

Jessica Squires

January 5, 2013

On International Human Rights Day, Mohamed “Moe” Harkat and his wife Sophie “celebrated” their ten-year anniversary: it was 2002 when Moe was arrested on a so-called security certificate.
Since then, Moe has been detained for years without charge and without access to the information on which the government bases its claims that he is or will be involved in terrorism. A full year of his detention was spent in solitary confinement. Even today he must wear a tracking bracelet and report to the Canada Border Services Agency once a week. He cannot leave Ottawa without permission.
In 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that security certificates are unconstitutional. However, the government made only cosmetic changes to the regulations, leaving the central problem intact. The Supreme Court will hear another appeal on the constitutionality of the security certificate regime this year. On December 10 (International Human Rights Day), supporters of the Harkats and their fight for basic due process and justice gathered on Parliament Hill, holding symbolic signs listing ten negative aspects of their experience, one for each year of Moe’s detention. A press conference in the centre block included Green Party leader Elizabeth May, the New Democratic Party caucus, Amnesty International and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group.
Human rights activists will be watching closely this year because Canada is also under scrutiny by the United Nations human rights process, and will have to answer questions about why it has not responded to the criticisms levelled against it in 2008.
To support the Harkats’ campaign against security certificates, please visit Justice for Mohamed Harkat and sign the Statement Against Security Certificates.

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