After Nineteen Years, Charkaoui becomes Canadian Citizen

25 July 2014, Montreal - At noon yesterday, more than 19 years after his family came to Canada seeking a better life, Adil Charkaoui became a citizen of Canada.

The Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui considers the government's decision to grant Canadian citizenship to Charkaoui a final admission by Canada that it was profoundly wrong to have pursued Charkaoui through the fundamentally unjust, racist and Islamophobic "security certificate" process. Charkaoui successfully challenged the first certificate in 2007, with a historic victory at the Supreme Court (Charkaoui I), and the second in 2009, when it was annuled in the Federal Court by Justice Tremblay Lamer.

For Adil and his family, it is impossible to forget the years of separation and imprisonment, the crushing house arrest conditions and electronic and physical surveillance imposed on the entire family, as well as the horrible allegations spread around the globe. The damage is irreparable: those years will never come back, the painful memories will not disappear, Adil may never be able to travel with any safety again. And until there is a final decision in the lawsuit brought by Charkaoui in 2010, the false and damaging allegations may continue to circulate.

Support Secret Trial Detainee Mohamed Harkat's challenge to secret trials, protest the Supreme Court's Shameful Secret Hearing

Stop Secret Trials in Canada, October 10-11, Ottawa

Information on Events, How to Get Involved Below!

For the third time since 2006, a challenge to Canada's secret trial "security certificates" is being heard at the Supreme Court.

But in an alarming move, the Supreme Court of Canada, after a public hearing on Thursday, October 10, will conduct a completely secret hearing in an undisclosed location, and the secret trial detainee launching the challenge, Mohamed Harkat – along with his lawyers, supporters, the media, and the general public – will be shut out from the process.

Join us in Ottawa to attend the public hearing, protest the secret hearing, and explore the many ways this Kafkaesque process reflects Kafka's The Trial!


1. Attend the public portion of the Supreme Court's secret hearing on Thursday, October 10, 9 am (with pre-court vigil at 7:30 am), and hear the challenge of secret trial detainee Mohamed Harkat along with the arguments of numerous intervening organizations

2. Attend an evening presentation of Kafka's The Trial, adapted to reflect Canada's secret trial process (Thursday, October 10, St Paul's University, 7:30 pm)

Charkaoui, supporters outraged by specious attack

Montreal, 9 May 2013 - The Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui rejects the utterly unfounded and demonstrably false allegations against Mr. Charkaoui parroted by Radio Canada, La Presse and McLean's starting on 7 May 2013. The Coalition, which has worked alongside Mr. Charkaoui for almost ten years, denounces the disgusting tactics of defamation as well as the role played by an uncritical and uninformed media.

"These kind of unfounded and unproven allegations that CSIS continues to spread in the media against me only motivate me all the more to fight in the courts and all other fora." said Mr. Charkaoui

"I am not surprised at this new slander campaign; the Canadian government habituated us to this kind of thing during the almost 6 years of secret trial process. But today, before the Superior Court of Quebec, all unfounded allegations are only an additional proof of abuse," added Mr. Charkaoui.

Ex-national security detainee, Hassan Almrei, wants speedy lawsuit judgment

By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press, September 9, 2012

TORONTO - A judge's findings in freeing a Syrian-born man from almost eight years of national security detention should be enough to validate his civil claim against the federal government, his lawyers are set to argue this week.

On the contrary, government lawyers say, the Federal Court findings in favour of Hassan Almrei should not apply to his lawsuit because they were made for an entirely different purpose.

It will be up to Ontario's top court to choose between the two competing visions in deciding whether a lower court justice was right to side with the government.

Most of the arguments before the Ontario Court of Appeal are highly technical — essentially turning on whether the Federal Court that quashed Almrei's national security certificate decided once and for all the issues now at play in his civil suit.

Almrei, 38, of Mississauga, Ont., came to Canada in 1999 and was granted refugee status in 2000. He spent almost eight years in custody or house arrest as a security threat until Federal Court Judge Richard Mosley set aside the designation in December 2009 after a 38-day trial.

Mosley found no evidence he had ever been a member of al Qaida, and that the government relied on outdated information against him some of which might have been obtained through torture.

Men arrested under security certificates shocked by CSIS torture allegations

Gazette, Marian Scott, 5 December 2011

MONTREAL — Advocates for five men arrested under security certificates said they were stunned to learn that Canada’s spy agency believed cases against them could fall apart if it could not use information obtained by torture.

On Saturday, the Montreal Gazette revealed that in 2008, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) warned the minister of public security that it could become impossible to use security certificates to arrest and deport suspected terrorists if it was prohibited from using information from foreign regimes known to use torture.

In a letter obtained by the Montreal Gazette, former CSIS director Jim Judd warned that a proposed bill then before Parliament “could render unsustainable the current security certificate proceedings.” A security certificate is a means by which the government may detain and deport non-citizens perceived as a threat to national security.

The letter calls into question CSIS’s assurances that it did not countenance the use of torture abroad.

On Sunday, an advocacy group representing men who have been detained under security certificates hailed the report as proof that CSIS and top government officials knew terror cases might not stand up without information obtained under duress.

Men held under immigration “security certificates” outraged to learn CSIS, top government officials knew cases built on torture

Toronto/Montreal/Ottawa, 4 December 2011 -- Several men whose lives were turned upside down when they were labelled and arrested as “threats to national security” were stunned to learn yesterday that CSIS itself believed that the cases against them would fall apart if CSIS were prevented from using information obtained from the use of torture. The startling admission was made in a secret memo sent from former CSIS head Jim Judd to then Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day in January 2008. Post media made the contents of the memo public yesterday.

“It is unbelievable. CSIS has been lying to us for years! But I don't know which is worse - CSIS's position or the fact that top officials like Stockwell Day were made aware but went ahead and signed the new certificates against us anyway, effectively condoning the use of torture and condemning us to several more years of arbitrary detention,” said Adil Charkaoui. Charkaoui is a Montreal teacher and father of four who won twice at the Supreme Court and was finally freed in 2009. He is currently seeking an apology from the government through court proceedings.

Despite its own evaluation that the cases would not meet new Canadian legal standards, introduced in February 2008, the agency advised Minister Day to issue the certificates. Day complied.

Torture strategy accepted, letter shows

Spy agency worried bill would undercut anti-terrorism work

Catherine Solyom, Montreal Gazette, 3 December 2011

Canada's spy agency was so reliant on information obtained through torture that it suggested the whole security certificate regime, used to control suspected terrorists in the country, would fall apart if they couldn't use it.

That's the essence of a letter written in 2008 by the former director of CSIS, Jim Judd, obtained by The Gazette.

It suggests a disturbing acceptance by the national security agency of torture as a legitimate strategy to counter terrorism.

The letter, dated Jan. 15, 2008, was sent from Judd to the minister of public security just as the government was finalizing Bill C-3, legislation to replace the security certificate law which was struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in February 2007.

The government had been given a year to come up with new legislation that would respect the charter rights of those targeted by the certificates.

Fundraising dinner: Road to justice

Saturday, 10 December 2011, 6pm
Maison de l'amitié, 120 Duluth St. East, Montreal
(Sherbrooke metro)

- suggested donation of $20 (pay what you can; no one turned away) - vegetarian & hallal options - childcare onsite - we regret that Maison de l'Amitié is not wheel-chair accessible -

Programme includes:

Adil Charkaoui. Adil Charkaoui spent over six years of his life trying to free himself from a security certicate, on the streets and in the courts. He won!

Johanne Doyon. Johanne Doyon has been working on Charkaoui's case since 2003. She brought the case against security certificates to the Supreme Court and won, and finally winning Charkaoui's case in the Federal Court as well.

Stefan Christoff (piano) with Peter Burton (contrabass) and Norman Nawrocki (fiddle). Stefan Christoff is a pianist and community activist in Montreal who will be performing compositions from an upcoming album of instrumental piano duets to be released in Montreal in 2012, listen to Stefan's music at Peter Burton is an improvisational musician playing contrabass who also works with Suoni per il Popolo festival. Norman Nawrocki (pronounced Nav-rot-ski) is a local writer, musician, activist in Montreal.

Road to Justice

Fundraising Campaign to cover legal costs

It's been two years since the Federal Court of Canada struck down the security certificate that held the Charkaoui family in a virtual prison for six and a half years. Two years have passed but the struggle for justice is still not won. The government has not been held accountable and Adil Charkaoui still does not have citizenship. We need your support!

From 2003 to 2009:

* Adil was imprisoned, for 22 months, at Rivière des prairies Detention Centre in Montreal, without charge and on the basis of information that was never disclosed to him;

* For over four years, he was subject to an intrusive and humiliating form of house arrest, still without charge, and without disclosure of the information;

* CSIS destroyed evidence in his file and, although the Supreme Court agreed that the practice was illegal and that it created a prejudice against Adil in the case, CSIS was not penalized and the case continued;

* The Supreme Court struck down security certificate legislation as unconstitutional, but Adil was kept under the same conditions until "new" legislation - which the Quebec Bar Association qualified as "not sufficiently different from its predecessor to be considered constitutionally valid" - was introduced, a new certificate issued and the process started all over again;

Whispers and innuendo

October 4, 2011, Carmen Cheung, BCCLA

Today, the BCCLA wrote to the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety about a recent government leak of purported intelligence information implicating two Canadians in a terrorist plot. The contents of the leak, the timing of it, and the government’s public statements in response to the whole affair all raise serious concerns, including whether the Canadian public can truly be informed via selective leaking of cherry-picked information.

In August, La Presse, a Montreal newspaper, published an article describing an alleged conspiracy between Adil Charkaoui and Abousfian Abdelrazik to place an explosive device on an aircraft. The alleged conspiracy was outlined in a document leaked to La Presse, which purported to be a 2004 report from CSIS summarizing conversation reportedly intercepted in 2000.