Muslim Council of Montreal calls for swift federal follow-up after commission of inquiry report clears Maher Arar’s name

September 21, 2006

(Montreal, Quebec, Sept. 21, 2006)- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) welcomes the report of the commission of inquiry absolving Maher Arar of all suspicion of terrorist activity.

“The Muslim community congratulates Mr. Arar on receiving official confirmation of his innocence,” stated Salam Elmenyawi, MCM President. “The mistakes of the RCMP in this matter were inexcusable and have cost Mr. Arar and his family greatly. We expect a swift and sincere apology from the RCMP and the Canadian government, as well as compensation for the extreme psychological and economic impact Mr. Arar has endured.”
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MCM calls on the federal government to review the recommendations of Mr. Justice Dennis O’Connor and to promptly move to establish a system of checks and balances to prevent such injustice from occurring again.

“We also demand a similar investigations be carried out in the cases of Adbullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muyyed Nurredin, three other Canadian Muslim men who were imprisoned and tortured by foreign governments,” Elmenyawi said. “The RCMP and CSIS must review their policies and procedures, and place a ban on supplying information to foreign governments when there is risk that it will be used to torture people.”

Furthermore, MCM reiterates its demands for the Canadian government to ensure that respect for civil liberties and human rights are held paramount, in proper balance with national security and calls for the need of greater accountability within both the RCMP and CSIS.