Muslim Council of Montreal welcomes Zaccardelli’s resignation, but says justice not served yet

December 7, 2006

Montreal, Quebec, Dec. 7th, 2006- The Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM) called the recent resignation of RCMP Commissioner Zaccardelli a key step in the Arar affair, however deemed it insufficient. MCM calls for similar investigations to be carried out in the cases Adbullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muyyed Nurredin, three other Canadian Muslim men who were imprisoned and tortured by foreign governments, and also for a thorough review of RCMP and CSIS policies and procedures.

“There are many Canadians and immigrants who were and continue to be treated unfairly by the RCMP and CSIS,” Salam Elmenyawi stated, president of MCM. “The report from the commission on the Arar affair is a rare thing, there remain other cases which go unchecked and harassment and mistreatment of Muslims and Arabs continues.”

MCM also expressed its dismay over the lack of apology from Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day over the wrongs suffered by Mr. Arar and his refusal to answer questions on Commissioner Zaccardelli. “Mr. Day must act responsibly and fully cooperate with the Commons public safety committee, instead of dodging the bullet and refusing to answer their questions,” Elmenyawi said.

MCM reiterates its demands for the federal government to act swiftly in the following matters:

* Apologize to Mr. Arar and his family;
* Financially compensate Mr. Arar for the extreme psychological and economical hardships he faced;
* Hold accountable all members of CSIS and RCMP who were responsible for providing false and misleading information, which lead to the arrest and torture of Mr. Arar;
* Establish a system of checks and balances to ensure such injustices do not occur again;
* Create an independent watchdog body to monitor and oversee all national security operations;
* Introduce legislation to ban: a) the supply of information to foreign governments that engage, directly or indirectly, in torture or where there is a risk that the information be used to torture people; b) the use of foreign information obtained through the means of torture; c) the deportation of any person to countries where there is a risk they will be tortured.

“There is growing need for a parliamentary committee to oversee CSIS and RCMP complaints, and to guarantee the proper checks and balances in the way Canadians are treated by their security officers,” Elmenyawi said. “This will help restore credibility and respect both for Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and for the honest officers who protect us all.”


Salam Elmenyawi

Muslim Council of Montreal (MCM)

Ph.: (514) 748-8427