Monday, April 23, 2007

LEBANON: Open Skies of Struggle

Montreal Exhibition from Photojournalist Stefan Christoff
at Sablo Kafé
Announcement for Exhibition Opening Event!

FRIDAY, APRIL 27th, 7pm
Sablo Kafé,
50 St. Zotique East
[metro St. Laurent & Bus 55 North]

Include performances & presentations from:

* Kaie Kellough: Author & dub-poet
* the Narcycist: Iraqi hip-hop artist

Photojournalist STEFAN CHRISTOFF will be displaying a series of
striking photographs captured throughout Lebanon in 2005 &
2006 at Montreal's Sablo Café, from mid-April until the end of May
2007. Christoff's images bring to life the realities of life and struggle
from Lebanon utilizing sharp artistic edges and beautiful colors.

From the streets of Beirut to the open skies of south Lebanon,
Christoff's photos outline sketches realities of life in Lebanon. The
photographs convey the human realities of a nation facing major
political upheaval in recent years, marked by massive street
demonstrations, international political intervention & a
devastating Israeli military attack in 2006.

Christoff's images also document the social and political conditions
of Palestinian refugees living in Lebanon.

From the Palestinian refugee camps of Ain el-Hilweh in southern
Lebanon, to Burj el-Barajneh in the southern suburbs of Beirut,
hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees live in exile as a
result of the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.

----> for more information concerning the exhibition contact: 514 690 8499

----> View Stefan Christoff's photographs at the following links:

Christoff on Flickr:

Burj el-Shemali Refugee Camp: A Photo Essay

Palestinian Refugee Camp Images 2006

Sunday, April 22, 2007

African illegals attack Spanish patrol boat with petrol bombs

Madrid (dpa) - African would-be immigrants travelling to Spain by boat attacked a Spanish police vessel with petrol bombs, preventing the officers on board from detaining them, the daily El Pais reported Tuesday.

The boat was taking 57 migrants from Mauritania in West Africa to the Canary Islands, when a Spanish patrol boat based in Mauritania attempted to intercept it.

The immigrants hurled petrol bombs and other objects at the vessel and tried to puncture a rubber dinghy which was sent to accost it.

Police decided to allow the boat to continue its journey, because its movements were endangering the lives of its occupants, according to the report.

However, police alerted the European frontier agency Frontex, which sent an aeroplane to follow the boat until it reached Gran Canaria Island.

The attackers were to be sent back to Mauritania, which intended to try them for an attack in its territorial waters.

The attack was highly unusual in the history of immigration to Spain, which receives tens of thousands of African illegals annually.

Next target chosen, Mohawks warn

Blocking rail line was 'first in a series of economic disruptions,' leader warns

staff reporter

The leader of an aboriginal blockade that paralyzed rail traffic between Toronto and Montreal for more than 30 hours promised this morning there will be more “economic disruptions” like the protest ended ahead of schedule.

Mohawk protesters gather around a palette fire in front of a bus that blocks the railway in Deseronto near Belleville, on Friday, April 20, 2007.

“Believe it or not, it was the first soft step of the campaign,” said Shawn Brant around 8 a.m., two hours after the group removed a school bus blocking the tracks. “We have identified three different targets, and we will escalate the degree of severity as is necessary.”

Those targets are the railway, provincial highways and the town of Deseronto, Brant said as he puffed on cigarettes at the gravel quarry that is the heart of the dispute

The next target has been selected already and plans for the action are being finalized, he said. They’ll continue the protests until the provincial government revokes a licence that allows gravel to be trucked away from the quarry, he said.

The protesters had said they’d stay at the blockade for 48 hours but decided to call it off early because some community members feared a violent conclusion to the protest, Brant said.

“Yesterday there was a series of exchanges. It was escalating into a standoff-type situation,” Brant said. “Some people were bringing concerns forward that this was to be a first step of a series of steps.

“The first stand wasn’t to be the last stand.”

The aboriginals have been in discussion with a federally appointed land-claims negotiator but Brant says the community is tired of talking while a company continues to operate at the 923-acre quarry.

“People in the community see it as a company removing the very land while we have people sitting at a table and discussing it,” Brant said. “We recognize there can be no meaningful negotiations while these things are happening.”

No arrests have been made at this point, said Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kristine Rae.

“We’re pleased that it was a peaceful resolution.”

Federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development Jim Prentice said in an interview today that the blockade was mounted by a splinter group in the Mohawk community — against the will of its chief and council.

The blockade and others like it do nothing to speed such talks, he added.

“What they do is they contribute to an erosion of good will towards aboriginal people and land claims. And I don’t think that is in the interest of First Nation communities.”

Prentice says he understands the frustration of First Nations who’ve watched unsettled land claims balloon from about 250 cases in 1993 to more than 800 now.

“I’m aware of that, and that’s why I’ve been insistent that we need to change the process.”

Prentice has promised an action plan to accelerate settlement of specific claims. He said he will approach cabinet soon and present details this spring.

He added that related land-claim negotiations have been going well since January.

Friday also marked the one-year anniversary of a police raid on another aboriginal occupation — in the southwestern Ontario town of Caledonia, which has been marred by violence in the past.

Aboriginal groups have warned that a lack of political will to settle that claim had protesters considering further standoffs in Ontario.

The protesters in Deseronto want the province to revoke a licence that allows gravel to be trucked away from the quarry, operated by Thurlow Aggregates.

Today, the protesters offered no apologies to commuters and businesses who were inconvenienced by the blockade. Thousands of rail passengers were sent scrambling onto buses to reach their destinations while CN Rail shut down all its operations.

“I don’t think they should expect an apology,” said Brant, who suggested the blockade was prompted by government inaction on the Mohawk’s land claim.

CN Rail reported the tracks reopened this morning at around 10:15 a.m.

VIA Rail said it was expecting normal operations to resume late this afternoon or evening, once freight congestion had cleared.

“Even though we are very happy to announce that we are resuming our operations this afternoon, at the same time our customers that will be travelling with us are being advised that they should anticipate delays between two and three hours on their total trip time,” said spokeswoman Catherine Kaloutsky.

The protesters initially set up barricades at the gravel quarry for a day in November, and again in January. A third barricade went up last month, and the group warned at the time that the demonstration might be expanded to the town of Deseronto itself.

Condominiums are planned using gravel from the quarry for an area known as the Culbertson Land Tract, which is on a section of land given to the Six Nations in 1793. The Mohawks contend they never relinquished any part of it.

Blockade of eastern Ont. rail line ends; protesters warn of further actions

Allison Jones, CP

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007

A key organizer of an aboriginal blockade, which paralyzed passenger and freight rail traffic on the busy Toronto-Montreal corridor, is warning that the protest that ended early Saturday is just the beginning in a series of “escalating” actions.

“We’ve identified targets as part of this campaign, one being the railway, one being provincial highways and one being the town (of Deseronto) itself,” said Shawn Brant.

“The disruption on the CN line was a first in a series of economic disruptions, the first in a campaign.” he said. “The campaign calls for an ever escalating degree.”

The next target has already been chosen and plans to finalize the next action are in the works, said Brant, who commented Saturday morning at the site of contention in the dispute – a gravel quarry that the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte say is their land.

Though the protesters originally said they would stay at the railway blockade for 48 hours, it ended peacefully after about 30 hours at 6 a.m. Saturday, after a sleepless night of negotiations with provincial police and other officials.

Protesters said they chose to end it early over fears of a violent conclusion.

A court injunction ordered the protesters and the dilapidated school bus off the tracks with arrests warned as a consequence, but the order was never enforced by police.

No arrests have been made at this point, said Ontario Provincial Police Sgt. Kristine Rae.
“We’re pleased that it was a peaceful resolution.”

Friday also marked the one-year anniversary of a police raid on another aboriginal occupation – in the southwestern Ontario town of Caledonia, which has been marred by violence in the past.

Aboriginal groups have warned that a lack of political will to settle that claim had protesters considering further standoffs in Ontario.

The protesters in Deseronto want the province to revoke a licence that allows gravel to be trucked away from the quarry, operated by Thurlow Aggregates.

On Saturday, the protesters offered no apologies to commuters and businesses who were inconvenienced by the blockade. Thousands of rail passengers were sent scrambling onto buses to reach their destinations while CN Rail shut down all its operations.

“I don’t think they should expect an apology,” said Brant, who suggested the blockade was prompted by government inaction on the Mohawk’s land claim.

CN Rail reported the tracks reopened Saturday morning at around 10:15 a.m.

VIA Rail said it was expecting normal operations to resume late Saturday afternoon or evening, once freight congestion had cleared.

“Even though we are very happy to announce that we are resuming our operations this afternoon, at the same time our customers that will be travelling with us are being advised that they should anticipate delays between two and three hours on their total trip time,” said spokeswoman Catherine Kaloutsky.

Jim Prentice, the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, had warned the protesters to “abandon” their blockade because it could jeopardize ongoing negotiations concerning the land tract.

The federal government has appointed a land-claims negotiator to try to resolve the long-running dispute, but Brant has complained talks have been moving too slowly.

The protesters initially set up barricades at the gravel quarry for a day in November, and again in January. A third barricade went up last month, and the group warned at the time that the demonstration might be expanded to the town of Deseronto itself.

Condominiums are planned using gravel from the quarry for an area known as the Culbertson Land Tract, which is on a section of land given to the Six Nations in 1793. The Mohawks contend they never relinquished any part of it.

Immigrants Used to Justify a Homeland Security Police State

By Peter Phillips

Threats of terrorism and twelve million “illegal” immigrants are being used to justify new police-state measures in the United States. Coordinated mass arrests, big brother spy blimps, expanded detention centers, repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act, and suspension of habeas corpus have all been recently implemented and are ready to use against anyone in the US.

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) flooded Mexico with cheap subsidized US agricultural products that displaced millions of Mexican farmers. Between 2000 and 2005, Mexico lost 900,000 rural jobs and 700,000 industrial jobs, resulting in deep unemployment throughout the country. Desperate poverty has forced millions of Mexican workers north in order to feed their families.

In the wake of 9/11, Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) has conducted workplace and home invasions across the country in an attempt to roundup “illegal” immigrants. ICE justifies these raids under the rubric of keeping our homeland safe and preventing terrorism. However the real goal of these actions is to disrupt the immigrant work force in the US and replace it with a tightly regulated non-union guest-worker program. This policy is endorsed by companies seeking permanent low-wage workers through a lobby group called Essential Worker Immigrations Coalition (EWIC). EWIC’s fifty-two members include the US Chamber of Commerce, Wal Mart, Marriott, Tyson Foods, American Meat Institute, California Landscape Contractors Association, and the Association of Builders and Contractors.

A new program, established by the Department of Justice in cooperation with Homeland Security, uses the code-name Operation Falcon (Federal and Local Cops Organized Nationally). Operation Falcon carried out three unprecedented federally-coordinated mass arrests between April 2005 and October 2006. More than 30,000 fugitives, including immigrants, were arrested in the largest dragnets in the nation's history. The operations directly involved over 960 agencies including FBI, ICE, IRS, Homeland Security and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

To accommodate the detention of tens of thousands of people, Homeland Security, in 2005, awarded Halliburton’s subsidiary KBR a $385 million contingency contract to build detention camps in the United States. According to the Halliburton website, “The contract provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the US, or to support the rapid development of new programs.”

Other new police-state programs include U.S. government contracting with Lockheed-Martin to design and develop enormous unmanned airships, seventeen times the size of the Goodyear blimp, outfitted with high-resolution cameras to spy on the Mexican border. The airships are designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. The high-resolution camera will watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter and could be moved to spy on any region of the US.

The programs described above combined with two recent changes in US law make the reality of a full police-state in the US increasingly more feasible. The Military Commissions Act signed October of 2006 suspends habeas corpus rights for any person deemed by the President to be an enemy combatant. Persons so designated could be imprisoned indefinitely without rights to legal counsel or a trial. And the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 allows the president to station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities. By revising the two-century-old Insurrection Act, the law in effect repeals the Posse Comitatus Act and gives the US government the legal authority to order the military onto the streets anywhere in America.

Threats of terrorism and illegal immigrants are being used to justify the implementation of police-state programs. But once started, enforcement can be rapidly deployed to any group of people in the US and we all become endangered. Mass arrests, big brother in the sky, and the loss of civil rights for everyone does not bode well for those who believe in democracy, free speech, and the right to critically challenge our government without fear of reprisals.

Virginia Tech Shooting: A Race and Media Analysis

April 20, 2007

Uprising Radio (KPFK, Los Angeles)

Audio Link to Segment HERE

GUEST: Tamara K. Nopper, an Asian American graduate student
in sociology at Temple University, where she teaches classes on
ethnicity, race, and Asian American studies. She is also a writer and
anti-war activist volunteering with the Central Committee for
Conscientious Objectors (CCCO)

Today on the 8th anniversary of the shootings at Columbine High
School in Colorado, we examine another campus massacre that
took place less than a week ago. Twenty three year old English student
Cho Seung-Hui opened fire on a campus dormitory at Virginia Tech
University, killing 32 faculty and students before taking his own life.
It was the worst campus shooting in U.S. history. Because of
the shooter’s ethnic heritage, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry fears
racial backlash against Koreans and the ministry has expressed its
concern and condolences in the aftermath of the tragedy. Some cultural
critics are particularly concerned about how media analysis of the
event might affect this potential prejudice. Will the media highlight
or downplay Cho’s ethnicity? How will current “model minority”
stereotypes play into the analysis? How does the incident’s proximity
to the 8th anniversary of the Columbine incident frame this

No way to treat a guest worker

Apr 13, 2007 04:30 AM

We used to look askance at European countries that brought in guest workers from Turkey and North Africa to do the dirty jobs no one else wanted.

These migrants were segregated from the rest of the population and not allowed to become citizens.

Canada would never treat people that way, we told ourselves, overlooking the fact that we'd been bringing in seasonal farm workers from Mexico and the Caribbean since the mid-'70s.

It became harder to delude ourselves in the early '90s, when Ottawa launched its Live-in Caregiver program. This allowed families seeking nannies to hire Filipino and Caribbean women who were ineligible for permanent residency until they had fulfilled the terms of their contract to the satisfaction of their employer. This left them extremely vulnerable to exploitation.

In 2002, the government took another step toward a two-tiered labour force. It launched the Low Skill Pilot Project, allowing employers facing serious labour shortages to bring in foreign workers for up to 12 months.

As demand increased, the government expanded the program and loosened the eligibility criteria. It enlarged the number of "occupations under pressure" for which foreign workers could be recruited. It reduced the time a job had to be advertised in Canada from six weeks to seven days. It set up processing centres in Calgary and Edmonton to fast-track applications. And it allowed employers to keep their foreign "temporaries" for 24 months. But they still had to go home.

In all but name, Canada now has a guest worker program.

And judging from Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's latest budget, it is going to grow. Pointing to labour shortages in the Alberta oil sands and the British Columbia construction sector, he promised to make it easier, faster and less costly to hire foreign workers.

So far, there has been little dissent. It is probably because the numbers are still small. Temporary foreign workers account for just 0.7 per cent of the labour force.

But as their numbers rise, Canada is going to face some difficult moral and legal questions:

-Is it right to invite migrants into the country to alleviate our economic problems without offering them the opportunity to become citizens?

-Is it legal to deny foreign workers the rights guaranteed in Canada's Constitution, such as freedom of assembly, freedom of movement and equality before the law?

-Is it ethical to place people in situations – being required to live under an employer's roof, knowing dismissal could mean deportation and lacking basic safeguards – that leave them open to abuse?

-Is it fair to bring in low-skilled workers from abroad when unemployed Canadians could be trained to fill many of the existing vacancies?

-Is it wise to go down a path that has led to ethnic tension in Europe?

-Is it sensible to use a stop-gap remedy to solve a long-term demographic problem?

Karl Flecker, who heads the anti-racism and human rights program at the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), has given these questions a lot of thought.

"We're not opposed to immigration," he says. "But we are concerned about any worker who walks into exploitation and we are worried that employers will use these programs to drive out workers and seek cheap foreign replacements."

CLC affiliates are already reporting such tactics in warehouses, nursing homes, food processing plants and on construction sites.

It troubles Flecker that many of the employers who are now desperate for foreign workers have failed to invest in training for years. According to the Alberta Federation of Labour, for instance, construction companies in the tar sands hired far too few apprentices for the pace of development.

It also disturbs him that just 2 per cent of the $80 million earmarked for improvements in the foreign workers program is designated to enforce labour standards. The number of complaints from migrant farm workers and live-in caregivers ought to have prompted Ottawa to invest in better monitoring and protection of foreign workers, Flecker says.

Before venturing further down this road, the CLC would like to see some serious discussion of alternatives.

It wonders why Canada can't adjust its immigrant selection criteria to admit the kind of workers it needs. It wonders why the government is rewarding employers who neglected to invest in training. And it wonders whether developing non-renewable resources at breakneck speed is in the country's best interests.

If Ottawa is determined to import guest workers, Flecker says, they should have all the rights spelled out in the Charter and the chance to make this country their permanent home. "If they're good enough to work here, they're good enough to live here."

That attitude earned Canada its reputation as home to the world. It would be a shame to squander it.

  • Company defends move to import Chinese workers

    Last Updated: Thursday, April 13, 2006 | 9:29 AM MT - CBC News

    An oil company is defending its plan to use more than 500 workers from China to help build a tank facility at its oilsands project near Fort McMurray.

    Labour groups have criticized Canadian Natural Resources Limited for wanting to bring in temporary foreign workers, saying there are enough Canadians to do the work.

    Real Doucet, who is in charge of the company's oilsands operations, says it's worked hard to recruit workers in this country and a majority will be Canadian.

    "We went into, so far, 12 cities across Canada, where we have done open houses and invited the contractors, showing them what we have on our site here to attract them to come to work in Alberta," says Doucet.

    "This is a Canadian project and we want Canadians to have an advantage on this."

    But, he says, there's more work than workers.

    "In the past, most of the projects were capable of attracting enough Albertans to make it happen," says Doucet.

    "It's OK when you have maybe $5 to $10 billion of work a year. We are up to the $20-, $30-billion-a-year of work across Alberta now so Alberta itself cannot supply the demand."

    Doucet says his company will likely use more Canadians from outside Alberta than foreigners because of the extra costs of training and travel involved when hiring people from overseas.

    But even with the additional costs, he says it is cheaper to use foreign workers only in areas where there is a high demand for a trade, such as welding.

    The federal government says it is monitoring wages to make sure they are not negatively affected by the use of foreign workers.

    Des conditions de liberté de Mohammed Harkat assouplies

    Presse Canadienne

    La Cour fédérale a accepté d'assouplir certaines des conditions de la détention à domicile du ressortissant d'origine algérienne Mohammed Harkat. Les modifications sont cependant mineures et ne constituent, de l'aveu même du juge Simon Noël, que des «réglages».

    Mohammed Harkat (Archives La Presse)

    M. Harkat était emprisonné en vertu d'un certificat de sécurité jusqu'en mai dernier. Depuis sa libération, il doit respecter une trentaine de règles très strictes, dont porter en tout temps un dispositif de télésurveillance.

    Il ne peut sortir plus de trois fois par semaine, pendant un maximum de quatre heures et doit avertir les Services frontaliers du Canada 48 heures à l'avance afin d'obtenir une autorisation. Son épouse, Sophie Lamarche, est responsable de surveiller ses allées et venues.

    Le couple souhaitait entre autres pouvoir sortir plus souvent et pendant des plus longues périodes. Le juge Simon Noël a jugé que de tels changements aux conditions seraient prématurés.

    Il a toutefois accepté que M. Harkat et une personne autorisée puisse prendre une marche de santé, dans les environs de son domicile.

    Le juge Noël a en outre élargi un peu le périmètre dans lequel le couple peut se déplacer et a simplifie le processus de vérification auquel doivent se soumettre leurs proches.

    Le magistrat reconnaît que la tâche de surveiller M. Harkat constitue un lourd fardeau pour son épouse. Il estime qu'il serait cependant préférable d'identifier de nouveaux «gardiens» plutôt que d'accroître la liberté dont il bénéficie.

    Le Service canadien du renseignement et de sécurité (SCRS) soupçonne M. Harkat d'entretenir des liens avec le réseau terroriste Al-Qaeda. La nature de la preuve contre lui demeure toutefois secrète.


    Montréal, 20 Avril 2007 - Avec l'aveu d'Ahmed Ressam comme quoi il a inventé
    de l'information sur le Québécois Adil Charkaoui, il y a plus de raisons que
    jamais de douter du Service canadien du renseignement et de sécurité (SCRS),
    l'agence responsable d'initier le processus du certificat de sécurité.

    M. Charkaoui, dont la contestation de la constitutionnalité du certificat de
    sécurité a été confirmée par la Cour suprême en février 2007, a affirmé :
    «Ce n'est pas la première fois que la faiblesse de la poursuite du SCRS
    contre moi est révélée. En 2004, la Cour fédérale a accepté de mettre de
    côté toute information fournie au SCRS par Abu Zubaydah, parce qu'il y avait
    des raisons de croire que cette information avait été obtenue sous la
    torture lors de sa détention aux États-Unis. En janvier 2005, nous avons
    appris que le SCRS avait détruit des preuves dans mon dossier - ce qui est
    d'aiileurs la base d'une deuxième contestation que la Cour suprême a accepté
    d'entendre dans l'année à venir. En février de la même année, peu de temps
    après ma libération, Radio-Canada a publié des preuves indiquant que de
    l'information produite par le SCRS provenant d'un prisonnier marocain avait
    été obtenue sous la torture, ce dernier s'étant d'ailleurs rétracté par la

    « Le rôle que le SCRS semble avoir joué dans l'introdution d'information
    partiale, douteuse et obtenue illégalement est très troublant», a ajouté
    Mary Foster, membre de la Coalition Justice pour Adil Charkaoui.

    «La loi régissant le certificat de sécurité a fourni le contexte pour que
    des erreurs et des abus soient commis, incluant l'introduction de preuves
    provenant de "détenus délateurs" peu fiables», a déclaré Me Dominique
    Larochelle, l'avocate de M. Charkaoui.

    M. Charkaoui et ses avocates ont tenté de contre-interroger Rassam depuis la
    première fois que son nom a été publié en lien avec le certificat de
    sécurité de Charkaoui en juillet 2003. Toutefois, les avocats du
    gouvernement se sont opposés au droit de Charkaoui de contre-interroger M.
    Ressam, admettant finalement qu'il n'existait pas d'affidavit de Ressam,
    mais seulement des ouï-dire. La détention de Ressam était le résultat d'un
    arrangement inhabituel aux États-Unis, selon lequel sa sentence serait
    moindre s'il fournissait de l'information aux autorités pendant une période
    de quatre ans. En mars 2005, Charkaoui a soumis des preuves à la Cour qui
    soulevaient davantage de doutes quant à la crédibilité des informations que
    Ressam avait soit-disant fournies pour incriminer Charkaoui. Cela avait
    soulevé des questions concernant l'incapacité du SCRS à produire cette même
    preuve facilement obtenue, qui consistait en un mandat d'arrêt indiquant que
    Ressam était en fait à Montréal durant la période pendant laquelle il
    prétendait avoir été en Afghanistan.

    «Cette dernière révélation souligne également la faiblesse des solutions
    proposées au certificat de sécurité. Est-ce que cette information aurait été
    rendue publique avec l'avocat spécial en place? J'en doute. Est-ce servir la
    justice que de ne pas rendre publique cette information? Je ne le crois
    pas», a ajouté Charkaoui.

    Le gouvernement a annoncé qu'il considérait l'introduction d'une nouvelle
    loi sur les certificats de sécurité, à la suite de la décision de la Cour
    suprême déclarant le certificat de sécurité inconstitutionnel. Une solution
    présentement à l'étude est l'introduction d'un avocat nommé par le
    gouvernement, connu sous le vocable d'avocat spécial, qui aurait accès à
    l'information secrète mais ne pourrait pas la dévoiler à son client ou au

    « La dénégation de Mr Ressam illustre bien que les règles usuelles de
    justice avec le processus contradictoire doivent être suivies dès
    l'ouverture d'un processus judiciaire à l'encontre d'une personne dans des
    affaire des allégations aussi grave entraînant une atteinte à la réputation
    et une perte de liberté, ce qui confirme le bien fondé de la conclusion de
    la cour suprême que le régime des certificat de sécurité viole la charte
    canadienne des droits et libertés », selon Me. Johanne Doyon, l'avocate de

    Charkaoui a conlu : «C'est un autre jour de joie pour moi et ma famille. Un
    autre élément de preuve vient appuyer ce que nous disons depuis les quatre
    dernières années: que je suis innocent des allégations retenues contre moi.»

    Le certificat de sécurité contre M. Charkaoui n'a jamais été confirmé. Son
    cas est suspendu depuis mars 2005, au moment où le gouvernement a été forcé
    de revenir sur une désicion alors que Radio-Canada avait révélé un
    manquement du SCRS concernant une information.

    Même s'il n'a jamais subi de procès et même si la loi elle-même a été jugée
    inconstitutionnelle, M. Charkaoui demeure sous de sèvères restrictions qui
    affectent la liberté de toute sa famille. Il doit respecter un couvre-feu
    stricte, être accompagné par un superviseur choisi par la Cour chaque fois
    qu'il quitte sa résidence et doit porter un bracelet GPS.


    Montreal, 20 April 2007 - With Ahmed Ressam's admission that he
    fabricated information against Quebecker Adil Charkaoui, there is
    more reason than ever to question information provided by the
    Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the agency responsible
    for initiating security certificate proceedings.

    Mr. Charkaoui, whose constitutional challenge to the security
    certificatewas upheld by the Supreme Court in February 2007,
    stated, "This is not the first time that the flimsiness of CSIS's case
    against me has been exposed. In 2004, the Federal Court agreed to
    set aside any information provided by CSIS sourced to Abu
    Zubaydah, because there was reason to believe it wasproduced under
    torture in US custody. In January 2005, we learned that CSIS had
    destroyed evidence in my case - this is the basis of a second challenge
    that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear in the coming year. In
    February of the same year, shortly after my release from prison,
    Radio Canada published evidence indicating that information introduced
    by CSIS and sourced to a Morrocan prisoner had been produced under
    torture and had later been recanted."

    "The role CSIS seems to have played, in introducing partial,
    questionnable and even unlawfully obtained information against Mr.
    Charkaoui, is very troubling," added Mary Foster, member of the
    Coalition Justice for Adil Charkaoui. "CSIS is not supposed to be a
    police force, building a case against an individual. It is supposed to
    provide an impartial threat assessment."

    "The security certificate legislation has provided the context for
    error and abuse to occur, including the introduction of evidence
    from this kind of unreliable 'jailhouse snitch'," stated Me. Dominique
    Larochelle, Mr. Charkaoui's lawyer.

    Charkaoui and his lawyers have sought to cross-examine Ressam
    since his name was first published in connection with Charkaoui's
    security certificate file in July 2003. However, government lawyers opposed
    Charkaoui's right to cross-examine Mr. Ressam, finally admitting that
    no affadavit from Ressam existed, only hearsay evidence. Ressam
    was held under an unusual arrangement in the United States whereby
    his prison sentence would be lessened if he provided information to
    authorities during a period of four years. In March 2005, Charkaoui
    submitted evidence in court that threw further doubt on the credibility
    of information that Ressam had allegedly provided against Charkaoui.
    This raised questions about CSIS's failure to have produced this same,
    easily-obtained evidence, a Montreal arrest warrant indicating Ressam
    was in fact in Montreal during a period he claimed to have been in

    "This latest revelation also underscores the weakness of proposed
    alternatives to the security certificate legislation. With a special
    advocate in place, would this information have come out publicly?
    I doubt it. Would keeping this information from the public serve
    justice? Not in my view," added Charkaoui.

    The government has announced that it is considering introducing
    new security certificate legislation, in the aftermath of the Supreme
    Court decision to strike down the security certificate as unconstitutional.
    One alternativeunder consideration is the introduction of a
    government-appointed lawyer,known as a special advocate, who will
    have access to the secret informationbut be prevented from disclosing
    it to his or her client or to the public.

    "Mr. Ressam's retraction well illustrates that the usual rules of justice
    with adverserial proceedings should apply in a judicial process with
    such grave allegations against an individual, entailing a loss of reputation
    and of liberty. It confirms the validity of the Supreme Court's conclusion
    thatthe security certificate regime violates the Canadian Charter of
    Rights andFreedoms," stated Me. Johanne Doyon, Mr. Charkaoui's

    Charkaoui concluded, "It is another happy day for me and my family.
    Anotherpiece of evidence has come to light to support what we have
    been saying forthe past four years: that I am innocent of all the
    allegations that have been thrown at me."

    The security certificate against Mr. Charkaoui has never been upheld.
    The case has been suspended since March 2005, when the government
    was forced to withdraw a decision following Radio Canada's exposure
    of a CSIS intelligence failure.

    Although he has never undergone any trial, and although the law
    itself has now been ruled unconstitutional, Mr. Charkaoui still remains
    under severe restrictions that affect the freedom of his entire family.
    He is subject to a strict curfew, must be accompanied by a
    court-appointed supervisor every time he leaves his home, and is forced
    to wear a GPS-tracking bracelet.

    Charkaoui fou de joie

    Fabrice De Pierrebourg
    Le Journal de Montréal
    20/04/2007 07h40

    «J'aurai même pas pu rêver de ça, c'est ma vie qui peut se jouer avec cette lettre», s'est exclamé Charkaoui, lorsqu'il a pris connaissance hier de son contenu en compagnie d'une de ses avocates, Dominique Larochelle, et de son père.

    Sonné, le Montréalais est passé alors par toutes les gammes d'émotions.

    Drogué au crack

    Cela fait depuis 2003 que ses deux avocates, Mes Larochelle et Doyon, réclament le droit de contre-interroger Ressam. Surtout parce qu'elles et leur client n'ont jamais accordé beaucoup de crédibilité aux dénonciations en rafale de Ressam. Un paumé «drogué au crack», mentionne Charkaoui.

    «Si j'étais à sa place, je comprends qu'il a essayé de leur faire plaisir. Il a été questionné pendant des heures, il avait certainement peur, il a dit n'importe quoi.»

    Cette rétractation viendrait donc, dit-il, conforter sa thèse.

    Selon la preuve rendue publique, Ressam n'aurait pas été le seul à reconnaître Adil Charkaoui sur des photos de filature.

    Deux autres dénonciations

    Deux autres figures avérées du terrorisme islamique l'auraient aussi dénoncé.

    D'abord Noureddine Nfiâ, condamné à vingt ans de prison au Maroc pour son implication dans les attentats de Casablanca et Madrid. L'autre est Abou Zoubeida. Présenté comme le lieutenant de ben Laden, impliqué dans l'organisation des camps d'entraînement afghans, il est détenu, à Guantanamo ou dans une prison secrète.

    «Nfiâ s'est rétracté lui aussi en 2005, explique Charkaoui. Dans une lettre, il a raconté avoir été kidnappé, torturé. On avait même menacé d'abuser de sa femme.»

    L'avocate va agir

    Que va-t-il se passer maintenant? Sans vouloir élaborer davantage, avec cet élément nouveau en main, Me Dominique Larochelle promet de ne pas en rester là.

    «Chaque fois que l'on fait des découvertes de ce genre, j'arrive à marcher dans la rue avec la tête de plus en plus haute», se réjouit Adil Charkaoui.

    Né en 1967 en Algérie, Ressam arrive en 1994 à Montréal avec un faux passeport français. Son statut de réfugié lui est refusé en 1995, mais il ne quitte pas le Canada.

    En 1996, il emménage dans un appartement de la place de la Malicorne à Anjou en compagnie de trois autres Algériens. Très vite, les enquêteurs français les relient à une cellule islamiste internationale.

    Au Canada, ces trafiquants de documents d'identité et cartes de paiement clonées sont longtemps considérés comme de simples petits voleurs sans envergure.

    Ressam quitte le Canada en mars 1998 à destination du Pakistan avec un vrai passeport obtenu «légalement» sous une fausse identité. Il y rencontre Abou Zoubeida, proche lieutenant de ben Laden, puis franchit la frontière afghane et se rend au camp Khaldun.

    Février 1999. Ressam revient à Montréal. Il a en poche un carnet de notes avec des instructions pour assembler une bombe ainsi que 12 000 $ pour acheter le matériel nécessaire.

    17 novembre 1999. Ressam et A. Dahoumane s'installent dans un motel de Vancouver. Ils préparent leur bombe.

    14 décembre 1999. Les deux Montréalais cachent les éléments de leur bombe dans le coffre d'une Chrysler 300. M. Dahoumane disparaît dans la nature. Ressam est arrêté quelques heures plus tard à la frontière.

    Avril 2001. Ressam et quatre autres Montréalais du même réseau sont condamnés en leur absence à Paris à des peines variant de cinq à huit ans de prison pour activités terroristes. À la même époque, Ressam est reconnu coupable à Seattle pour son projet visant l'aéroport de Los Angeles. Il se met à collaborer.

    27 juillet 2005. Ressam écope d'une peine de 22 ans de prison.

    En novembre 2006, il écrit au juge John C. Coughenour à Seattle pour innocenter un autre Montréalais détenu à Guantanamo après sa capture en Afghanistan. En 2001, Ressam avait désigné Zemiri comme un de ses complices.

    16 janvier 2007. La Cour d'appel fédérale de San Francisco renverse la condamnation de Ressam mais maintient le verdict de culpabilité. Un juge devrait statuer sur une nouvelle peine à imposer au Montréalais.

    Ressam blanchit Charkaoui

    Fabrice De Pierrebourg
    Le Journal de Montréal
    20/04/2007 05h49

    Dans une lettre adressée au Journal de Montréal depuis sa cellule, le terroriste montréalais Ahmed Ressam soutient avoir menti aux agents de renseignement canadiens au sujet d'Adil Charkaoui qu'il affirmait avoir vu dans un camp d'Al-Qaïda en Afghanistan.

    «Ce que j'ai dit en 2003 aux enquêteurs du SGRC [SCRS et/ou GRC] n'est pas vrai, écrit Ahmed Ressam. Car j'étais confronté à des circonstances psychologiques difficiles, je ne savais pas ce que je disais.»

    Terrorisme - Ressam blanchit Charkaoui Ahmed Ressam soutient avoir menti aux agents de renseignement canadiens.

    © Le Journal de Montréal

    Ahmed Ressam a été condamné à 22 ans de prison aux États-Unis pour avoir voulu faire sauter l'aéroport de Los Angeles lors du passage à l'an 2000.

    Il y a quelques semaines, le représentant du Journal lui avait fait parvenir une missive dans sa prison de très haute sécurité du Colorado pour savoir s'il confirmait ou non ses graves accusations envers Adil Charkaoui.


    Dans sa réponse rédigée en arabe, Ressam justifie cette surprenante volte-face en affirmant qu'à l'époque il avait «subi un dérèglement psychologique et une grande pression». Et aussi «à cause des résultats de la cour» auxquels il ne s'attendait pas, écrit ce prisonnier.

    «S'il te plaît, ne tiens pas compte de tout ce que j'ai dit pendant cette période», conclut-il.

    Ce serait la première fois que Ressam accepte de se confier à un média depuis son arrestation.

    Dans un camp d'Al-Qaïda

    Entre autres à la suite des révélations de Ressam, Adil Charkaoui, un professeur de français montréalais d'origine marocaine, a été arrêté dans la métropole en mai 2003, puis détenu pendant vingt et un mois à Rivière-des-Prairies, en vertu d'un certificat de sécurité.

    Les autorités l'accusent d'être un agent dormant d'Al-Qaïda, membre du Groupe Islamiste Combattant Marocain (GICM).

    Ahmed Ressam l'aurait formellement identifié sur deux photos de filature présentées par des agents du SCRS.

    De plus, il aurait avoué aux agents canadiens venus l'interroger dans sa cellule en 2002 (non pas en 2003 comme il l'écrit) que Charkaoui s'était entraîné avec lui dans un camp en Afghanistan pendant l'été 1998.

    Toujours selon Ressam, Charkaoui était connu à l'époque sous le pseudonyme de Zubeir el Maghrebi.

    Plusieurs Montréalais dénoncés

    Charkaoui n'est pas le seul à avoir été dénoncé par Ressam. Risquant jusqu'à 130 ans d'emprisonnement, Ressam se serait mis à collaborer dans l'espoir que sa sentence soit réduite.

    Ainsi, en plus de témoigner dans des procès, Ressam aurait livré des renseignements sur une centaine de personnes associées à la nébuleuse mouvance terroriste islamique. Parmi eux figurent plusieurs Montréalais.

    Mais en 2003, le bavard a décidé de se taire. Aujourd'hui il parle à nouveau, mais pour blanchir tous ses «amis».

    Le pénitencier supermax de Florence abrite plusieurs terroristes, dont Zacharias Moussaoui et Richard Reid.

    (Avec la collaboration de Taïeb Moalla)

    Thursday, April 19, 2007

    Le Pen urges halt to immigration

    By Emma Jane Kirby BBC News, Paris

    Mr Le Pen stunned France by reaching the second round in 2002Jean-Marie Le Pen has been in politics for more than 50 years, but at his rally at Porte de Versailles in Paris the crowd greet him as if he was the hottest new act in politics.

    Some 5-6,000 people waving flags crammed into the stadium on Sunday to cheer on the National Front leader. The overspill who could not fit in still screamed their approval through the open doors.

    "I'm voting for the first time," 19-year-old Frederic told me. "And I'm voting Le Pen because immigration is a serious problem in France - that's not racist, it's realistic and Le Pen will deal with the problem, while candidates like Sarkozy and Royal just pretend it's not happening."
    Thirty-five years after the National Front party was founded, stopping immigration remains its dominant theme. Mr Le Pen warned the crowd that France was in danger from the thousands of immigrants who arrive in the country each year.

    "This is just the start of mass immigration," he warned from the podium. "If we do nothing, we will be submerged."

    Racism debate

    Last year a French court convicted the 78-year-old far-right leader of inciting racial hatred. But when I mention this to his supporters they insist he is not racist, just braver than most politicians in tackling taboo subjects.

    Eric now lives in London but has come back to Paris for the day just to hear Mr Le Pen talk. "I don't care about racial issues - that's life and it's not my problem. Le Pen is a great guy because he will take action and France needs someone to take action."

    Surprisingly perhaps, a recent survey suggests that up to 8% of French Muslims will vote National Front on 22 April.

    Fayid Smahi, a regional councillor and National Front member in Paris, claims Mr Le Pen offers much more wholesome values than mainstream politicians.

    "Above everything it's his family values we share. When we're eating our dinner, watching TV at night and we see two homosexual men kissing, it upsets us. As Muslims, and as decent French citizens, it shocks us."

    Mr Smahi is convinced that Mr Le Pen also offers more hope to second-generation integrated Muslims who face prejudice because of their colour or race.

    "Why is there this fundamental injustice in France? Because we are called Fayid, Zubeida, Monir? We are French citizens, have masters degrees, and yet we only get jobs at fast food restaurants. Well, if Mr Le Pen gets elected we will get proper jobs because he believes in putting French citizens - and that's what we are - first."

    Solid support

    Browsing in the National Front shop at the rally, among the flashing lapel pins and Le Pen baseball caps, a T-shirt catches my eye. On the breast pocket is a cartoon of an Arab man in Middle Eastern dress, laden with bags and suitcases. It carries the slogan "Bon Voyage Mate!"
    France was horrified when Mr Le Pen came second in the 2002 presidential race, but that sense of shock has had no negative effect on his ratings.

    The polls currently put him in fourth place and suggest that with between 13 and 16% he could get his highest score yet.

    For the thousands of people at the rally who enthusiastically yell their support, it is worth remembering that many more voters will show their approval for the National Front more quietly at the ballot box on 22 April.

    French Muslim graves desecrated

    Thousands of North African soldiers fought for France in WWINazi slogans and swastikas have been daubed on about 50 graves in the Muslim section of a French WWI cemetery.

    The military cemetery, near Arras in the north of France, is one of the country's biggest and is on the site of some of the war's early battles.

    French President Jacques Chirac said the desecration "was an unspeakable act that scars the conscience".

    About 78,000 colonial subjects of France, including many Muslims from North Africa, died in the war.

    Rival presidential candidates Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sarkozy also condemned the vandalism.

    "This desecration is all the more shocking because it affects the graves of fighters who gave their lives for France," Mr Chirac said in a statement.

    The official prosecutor's office said none of the graves had been destroyed.

    Why do ordinary people commit evil deeds?

    The debate about ordinary people committing evil deeds rolls on. But in a personal viewpoint Prof Phil Zimbardo, creator of the Stanford Prison Experiment, says its time to get to grips with why wrongdoing happens.

    In 1971 I became superintendent of the Stanford Prison, a mock prison run by psychologists. I was a young psychology professor at Stanford University, and I wanted to understand what happens when you put good people in a bad place.

    To do so, it was necessary to conduct a controlled experiment, so my graduate assistants and I selected college-student volunteers - normal, healthy young men with no history of crime or violence - and randomly assigned them the roles of prisoner or guard.

    During the extended experiment, we would observe and record everything that happened. The inmates would live in their cells and the prison yard 24/7 - the guards would work eight-hour shifts.

    Our simulation tried to create a psychology of imprisonment in the minds of all participants, with all-powerful guards dominating powerless prisoners. To increase the real-life feel, we arranged for actual mass arrests and booking by the Palo Alto police; visits by a prison chaplain, a public defender, and parents; even parole board hearings.

    Though not part of the plan, there were also prisoner rebellions. And, notoriously, there was chilling abuse and torture by the guards.

    The experiment was supposed to last two weeks, but we had to pull the plug after only six days because nearly half the prisoners had emotional breakdowns in response to the extreme stress and psychological torments invented by their guards - good, young men who'd been overwhelmed by situational forces in the roles they were playing.

    'Shocking' images

    Fast-forward to April 2004. Horrific images flash across our television screens - nightmarish abuses of Iraqi prisoners by young American soldiers, the male and female military police reservists stationed at Abu Ghraib. Military commanders condemn the criminal actions of a "few bad apples," asserting that such abuses are not systemic in our military prisons.
    The images were shocking to me, but not unfamiliar. They were, in fact, strikingly similar to what I had seen at Stanford - prisoners naked, bags over their heads, forced into sexually humiliating poses. Could the perpetrators of these evils be like the young men in my prison - "good apples" who happened to find themselves in a "bad barrel"? Though not part of the plan, there were also prisoner rebellions. And, notoriously, there was chilling abuse and torture by the guards.

    The images were shocking to me, but not unfamiliar. They were, in fact, strikingly similar to what I had seen at Stanford - prisoners naked, bags over their heads, forced into sexually humiliating poses. Could the perpetrators of these evils be like the young men in my prison - "good apples" who happened to find themselves in a "bad barrel"?

    Was their behaviour shaped by the same sort of social psychological forces that had operated in the Stanford Prison Experiment? My conclusion, after becoming an expert witness for one of the military policemen and reviewing all the evidence of the investigations into these abuses, was that the parallels were palpable. Indeed, one investigative report highlighted the fact that the "landmark Stanford study" should have been a cautionary tale in preventing the Abu Ghraib abuses.

    Historical inquiry and behavioural science have demonstrated the "banality of evil" - the fact that, given certain conditions, ordinary people can succumb to social pressure to commit acts that would otherwise be unthinkable.

    To be sure, few of us will ever end up as inmates or guards in military or civilian or mock prisons, but many of us find ourselves in relationships where we dominate other people or are dominated by them.

    We spend our lives in institutions of one kind or another, from families, schools, and businesses, to homes for the elderly. And many times we bow to the will of the group even when it conflicts with our values.

    Prejudiced beliefs

    In the prisons at Stanford and Abu Ghraib, men and women did terrible things to other people in part because responsibility for their actions was diffused, rather than focused on each of them as individuals; we find ourselves in a similar situation whenever we witness someone else's trouble but fail to help because we assume others will.

    Likewise, the prisoners at Stanford and Abu Ghraib suffered unnecessarily because the guards regarded them as less than human; dehumanisation allowed the guards to treat prisoners as lower beings. The same applies to us when we allow members of a minority group to be derogated as inferior.

    Prejudiced beliefs lead to discrimination, and in turn to abuse. Situational forces affect us when we're acting in the capacity of a role we've assumed; when rules govern our behaviour; when we're in uniforms or dressed in ways that conceal our identity; and of course when we're in a group whose acceptance seems vital to our self-image.

    We want to believe that we are "good," moral, and self-aware. We want to believe that we're different from "bad" or "evil" people. Thinking so is essential to maintaining a sense of personal dignity and self worth. But the line between good and evil is permeable, like the cell walls of our body that allow movement of chemicals across their boundaries.

    Anything that any human being has ever done - anything imaginable - is potentially doable by any of us in the same situation.

    This is not to excuse immoral behaviour; the point is simply that understanding how someone could have engaged in wrongdoing, rather than dismissing it as a bad deed done by a bad person, allows us to identify corrosive social forces - the very same forces we need to counteract if we want to avoid going down the same wrong path.

    Prof Zimbardo is author of the Lucifer Effect - How Good People Turn Evil.

    Australia and US to swap refugees

    Barbara McMahon in SydneyWednesday April 18, 2007

    Guardian UnlimitedAsylum seekers intercepted at sea while trying to reach Australia are to be sent to the United States under a controversial refugee-swapping scheme designed to deter illegal migrants.

    Under the plan announced by Australia's immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, some of the boat people picked up in international waters off the coast of Australia will be re-settled halfway around the world.

    In exchange, Australia will accept asylum seekers currently being held in detention at the US naval base at Guantánamo Bay, mostly Cubans and Haitians who have also been intercepted at sea.

    The agreement between the two countries, ratified in Washington last week, will involve each country processing about 200 of each others refugees a year.

    Commenting on the scheme in a radio interview, Australia's prime minister, John Howard, who has a famously tough stance on illegal immigration, claimed it would deter people smuggling.
    "I think people who want to come to Australia will be deterred by anything that sends a message that getting to the Australian mainland illegally is not going to happen," he said.

    The opposition Labour party criticised the plan. The party's leader, Kevin Rudd, said the policy would simply establish Australia as a halfway house for asylum seekers wanting to reach the United States.

    Refugee organizations expressed outrage at the scheme, saying it would be cruel to resettle asylum seekers in countries where they have no cultural connections.

    Pamela Curr of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre said: "This is not a container load of washing machines that we've decided to reject. These are human beings.

    "They're our responsibility and this policy is shredding the United Nations refugee convention."
    The first group to go to the US will probably be 83 Sri Lankans and eight Burmese people, who were picked up in unseaworthy wooden boats in February and who have since been detained on the Pacific island of Nauru, where Australia processes some of its asylum seekers.
    Guardian Unlimited © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007

    Détention aux États-Unis: Un réfugié demande une enquête sur le rôle du Canada

    mercredi le 18 avril

    Un demandeur d'asile algérien soupçonné injustement par les États-Unis d'avoir participé aux attentats du 11 septembre 2001 réclame une enquête publique sur le rôle qu'a joué le Canada dans sa détention. Benamar Benatta a été arrêté en septembre 2001 en vertu de la Loi sur l'immigration. Il a été détenu aux États-Unis pendant près cinq ans après y avoir été transféré par les autorités canadiennes.

    Lors d'une conférence de presse mercredi à Ottawa, M. Benatta a raconté sa mésaventure. Celle-ci a commencé lorsque les autorités canadiennes l'ont transféré aux États-Unis, de façon illégale selon lui, après son arrestation le 12 septembre 2001.

    À l'époque, le FBI alléguait qu'il avait participé à la planification des attentats du World Trade Center. Toutefois, un mois plus tard, le FBI l'a disculpé de tout lien avec des terroristes.

    Victime de mauvais traitement, selon lui

    M. Bennata affirme qu'il a été maltraité et battu lors de sa détention aux États-Unis. De plus, le droit de voir un avocat lui aurait été nié pendant une longue période. Il soutient que sa détention a perduré aux États-Unis parce que les Américains alléguaient avoir trouvé de faux documents sur lui.

    Ce n'est que l'été dernier que les États-Unis ont laissé Benamar Benatta partir pour le Canada. Il souhaite maintenant savoir pourquoi il a dû subir ces mauvais traitements, alors qu'il n'avait rien à se reprocher.
    Est-ce qu'être musulman, d'un pays musulman, avec une éducation en aéronautique est une offense ces jours-ci qui peut justifier un tel traitement. ­ Benamar Benatta

    Sa demande en vue d'obtenir un statut de réfugié au Canada est toujours en suspens. Les autorités canadiennes examinent présentement son dossier.

    M. Benatta a reçu, mercredi matin, l'appui de plusieurs organismes de défense des droits de la personne, dont Amnistie internationale et le Conseil canadien pour les réfugiés.

    Tuesday, April 17, 2007

    Que. guard fired after insisting on wearing hijab

    Updated Wed. Mar. 14 2007 11:24 PM ET

    Canadian Press

    MONTREAL -- A Quebec prison has fired one of its guards-in-training because she insisted on wearing a hijab to work.

    Quebec's union of prison guards said the Muslim headwear posed a threat to the woman's safety should she have to patrol among prisoners, French-language television network TVA reported earlier this week.

    Rules at Montreal's Bordeaux jail, where the woman was training to work, stipulate that a guard's hair must be tied back and they cannot wear ties.

    The rules make no mention of hijabs.

    Quebec's deputy minister of correctional services agreed that hijabs can easily be turned into a weapon.

    "With a simple turn of the wrist, you have a noose,'' said Jean Lortie.

    "There is no doubt that we will have to ask her to not wear this headcover to work,'' he added.

    According to both Canadian and provincial correctional authorities, this marks the first time a hijab-wearing woman has wanted to become a guard in a Quebec prison.

    The incident has fuelled recent debate in Quebec over reasonable accommodation for minorities.

    Herouxville, a rural town in central Quebec, drew international attention when it adopted a declaration of "norms'' that tells immigrants how to fit in and forbids face coverings other than on Halloween.

    In Montreal, men were banned from pre-natal classes at one Montreal community centre to accommodate Muslim, Sikh and Hindu women.

    Premier Jean Charest has ordered a commission to look into the issue.

    Group mulls human rights case over FIFA ruling

    Updated Sat. Mar. 3 2007 11:21 PM ET News Staff

    A spokeswoman for a Canadian Muslim women's group thinks there's the basis for a human rights complaint in the FIFA decision to maintain a ban on Islamic head scarves on the soccer pitch.

    "I think this is something that needs to be taken up with the United Nations in terms of human rights violations," Anisa Ali of the United Muslim Women of Canada told CTV Newsnet on Saturday. "We, as Muslim women, have a right to participate in sporting activities just like non-Muslim women."

    Asmahan Mansour, 11, was ejected from the game for not removing her hijab on the field.

    Asmahan Mansour, 11, was ejected from the game for not removing her hijab on the field.

    Brian Barwick, International Football Association

    Brian Barwick, International Football Association

    Her group will be taking action "ASAP," she said.

    Ali pronounced herself surprised at Saturday's decision by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which is part of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), because three members of a Jordanian team were recently allowed to play a match against Japan while wearing hijabs.

    B.C. and Ontario both allow religious headgear, she said. Not allowing such headgear "sends a very negative view, especially to young women, who wish to participate in athletic activities," she said.

    The family of Asmahan Mansour, the 11-year-old soccer player ejected from a game last weekend for refusing to remove her hijab, said on Saturday they will continue to fight for the right to wear the traditional Muslim head scarf on the pitch.

    IFAB, which administers the rules for FIFA, ruled that the referee who ejected Mansour made the correct call.

    Maria Mansour, mother of Asmahan, believes her daughter was singled out by the referee -- who is himself a Muslim -- and is saddened she experienced "humiliation in front of the eyes of hundreds of people."

    The young soccer player had hoped the IFAB would rule in her favour and spare other girls from the same struggle.

    "In Ottawa, they don't say anything, and in Quebec they say something?" Asmahan told CTV News. "They could have told me on Saturday before Sunday, when I registered."

    The board reviewed the case of Mansour, who was told last weekend that she couldn't play in an under-12 tournament in Laval, Que. unless she removed her religious head-covering known as a hijab.

    Brian Barwick, who spoke on behalf of the board, said it is important to be respectful to "people's thoughts and philosophies," but added that the rules of the game must be followed.

    "We believe our football to be inclusive. It's part of what we believe our football to be," he told a news conference.

    "But of course if you play football there are basic laws. And law four outlines what the basic laws are concerning gear. I think it's absolutely right to be sensitive to people's thoughts and philosophies but equally football has a set of rules it has to adhere to."

    The fourth rule lists the items a player is entitled to wear. Head scarves are not mentioned.

    Goalkeepers are allowed to wear caps and protective headgear.

    The Quebec Soccer Association said the headscarf violated a no-headgear rule set down by FIFA for safety reasons.

    "We are happy that there is a decision. I wish that it will be the end now. Soccer is sport. This sport has rules and we want to play soccer. Let's play soccer now," Michel Dugas of the Quebec Soccer Federation told CTV.

    When she was ejected from the game for refusing to remove the covering, Mansour's coach withdrew the team from the tournament in protest.

    "The rule is not clear -- it's left for interpretation and to the discretion of referees to make that call," Louis Maneiro, Asmahan's coach, told CTV Ottawa.

    With files from CTV News, CTV Ottawa and CTV Montreal

    Quebec firm on hijab ban for prison guard

    Thu. Mar. 15 2007 11:09 PM ET News Staff

    A Quebec woman who was forced to choose between her hijab and her career is considering taking her case to the Human Rights Commission.

    Sondos Abdelatif, 19, was given the ultimatum to withdraw from a training session at Montreal's Bordeaux Detention Centre or remove her headscarf.

    Sondos Abdelatif had to quit a training program at Montreal's Bordeaux jail after she insisted on wearing her hijab.

    Sondos Abdelatif had to quit a training program at Montreal's Bordeaux jail after she insisted on wearing her hijab.

    Abdelatif completed her initial examination and was a week into her training before officials at the Bordeaux Detention Centre confronted her with the ultimatum.

    Abdelatif completed her initial examination and was a week into her training before officials at the Bordeaux Detention Centre confronted her with the ultimatum.

    Sarah Elgazzar, a spokesperson for the Canadian Council on American Muslim Relations, said the ministry should be willing to compromise.

    Sarah Elgazzar, a spokesperson for the Canadian Council on American Muslim Relations, said the ministry should be willing to compromise.

    Quebec's Public Safety Department is standing behind its decision to ban the hijab. The ministry, which is in charge of Corrections Services, said a headscarf could act as a strangulation device should hostile prisoners attack a guard while on patrol.

    However, Abdelatif says if her headscarf was a problem, officials should have notified her sooner.

    Abdelatif applied to become a corrections officer in November of last year. Her application included a complete portfolio with photos of her wearing a headscarf and there were no questions asked about her hijab at the time.

    "I had my veil on and you could clearly see that I had my veil on," Abdelatif told CTV Montreal on Thursday.

    Abdelatif completed her initial examination and was a week into her training before officials at the Bordeaux Detention Centre confronted her with the ultimatum.

    "They just told me you either take it off, or you can't work here," Abdelatif said.

    "It was kind of like they were telling me that I had nothing to offer, that I was good for nothing."

    Female guards are required to wear their hair tied back and abstain from wearing ties, but there is no mention of hijabs in the prison's uniform policy.

    According to Canadian and provincial correctional authorities, this is the first time that a woman who observes the Muslim custom has wanted to become a corrections officer in the province.

    Abdelatif is upset she will not be given the chance to fulfill her career aspirations.

    "I liked it a lot. I figured out that's what I want to do with my life," said Abdelatif.

    She said she would like to have an open dialogue with the prison and the Public Safety Department before she takes her case to the Human Rights Commission.

    Sarah Elgazzar, a spokesperson for the Canadian Council on American Muslim Relations, said the ministry should be willing to compromise.

    "If there were security concerns they should have addressed the security concerns," Elgazzar told CTV Montreal.

    "They should have said, 'Hey, look we're worried about you. We have your best interest in mind, is there a way that you can do this without endangering yourself?'"

    Elgazzar reiterated there are specifically designed hijabs used by the Canadian armed forces that could be a compromise to this situation.

    A spokesperson from the Public Safety Department said they are not considering alternatives to the ultimatum.

    This recent incident has further fueled the debate about reasonable accommodation for minorities within Quebec.

    An 11-year-old Ottawa girl was ejected from a soccer game in Quebec after she refused to remove her headscarf during the game in February.

    The small town of Herouxville drew international attention when it adopted a declaration of "norms'' that tells immigrants how to fit in and forbids face coverings other than on Halloween.

    In Montreal, men were banned from pre-natal classes at one Montreal community centre to accommodate Muslim, Sikh and Hindu women.

    With files from the Canadian Press and a report by CTV Montreal's Tania Krywiak.

    Hijab uproar

    First, there was the soccer controversy, now it's a Tae Kwon Do team

    Canadian Press - Sunday, April 15, 2007

    A Tae Kwon Do team of mainly Muslim girls says it was kicked out of tournament south of Montreal today because its members refused to remove their hijabs.

    Tournament organizers told team officials that the girls can’t compete because the Muslim head scarves are a safety risk.

    The team, made up of girls 8 and 12 years old, is affiliated with a Muslim community centre in Montreal.

    Asmahan Mansour's soccer team pulled out of a national indoor soccer championship in Laval in February after the 11-year-old was told she could not wear her hijab during the game.

    Asmahan Mansour's soccer team pulled out of a national indoor soccer championship in Laval in February after the 11-year-old was told she could not wear her hijab during the game.

    The community centre says most of the girls onhe team wear a hijab, but they have been allowed to participate in similar tournaments around Quebec.

    They say the centre’s boys team is now refusing to participate in the tournament in an act of solidarity.

    Officials with the team say they will continue to lobby tournament organizers in hopes they will reverse their decision.

    Quebec has been embroiled in recent months in an ongoing debate about accommodations for minorities.

    A female soccer team from Nepean, Ont., forfeited a tournament in Laval on Feb. 25 after the referee ordered a player to remove her hijab.

    Four other youth soccer teams from Ottawa also forfeited their games and left the field in protest. The Nepean Hotspurs Selects, a girl's soccer team made up of 18 sixth-graders, walked off the indoor playing surface after a referee ordered Asmahan Mansour to take off her hijab because he felt it was a physical threat to the other players.

    It was the first time she had been asked to take off her hijab.

    "I don't understand why I can't play," she said by telephone from the sidelines after her team withdrew from the tournament. "This is so sad. It's my religion."

    Hijab a safety risk, Que. taekwondo team told

    Updated Sun. Apr. 15 2007 8:01 PM ET News Staff

    A Quebec taekwondo team consisting mainly of Muslim girls withdrew from a tournament after they were barred from taking part while wearing their hijabs.

    "I feel very sad because we practised so hard," 11-year-old Bissan Mansour, who wears a hijab, told The Canadian Press on Sunday. "We pulled out for a useless reason."

    A Quebec taekwondo team were forced to withdraw from a tournament for wearing their hijabs.

    A Quebec taekwondo team were forced to withdraw from a tournament for wearing their hijabs.

    The team has been practicing the Korean martial art for three years, and some members have won medals in competition. The team said on Sunday the hijabs -- which five of its six team members wear underneath their helmets -- have never been a problem until now.

    Right before the competition in Longueuil, the team said a referee told them to either remove their hijabs or leave the tournament.

    "In the past few years we used to compete, and there was no problem," team coach Medhi Sbeiti told CTV Montreal. "What's the problem this year?"

    A taekwondo team says it was kicked out of a tournament today because some of its members refused to remove their hijabs.

    A taekwondo team says it was kicked out of a tournament today because some of its members refused to remove their hijabs.

    International referee Stephane Menard said on Sunday that the decision was made for safety reasons, and that it came out of a referees' meeting in Longueuil earlier in the day.

    Menard told CP that the hijab isn't included under the equipment allowed under World Tae Kwon Do Federation rules.

    "We applied the rules to the letter," he said.

    The fear is that part of the hijab could come loose during a bout. Taekwondo involves kicks and throws.

    The team is made up of six girls between eight and 12 years old, and is affiliated with a Muslim community centre in Montreal.

    Team member Batoul Atwi told CTV Montreal that she was angry and disappointed after she and her teammates were sidelined at the Raymond Mourad tournament.

    Tournament founder Raymond Mourad said he wanted officials to let the Muslim girls compete this time, but his pleas were ignored.

    "They should have let them fight," Mourad told CTV Montreal. The girls withdrew following the decision. A boys team from the same centre also withdrew. The $35 tournament fee each member paid was reimbursed.

    Mourad wanted the officials to let them compete, but he couldn't sway them.

    "The kids who came today, we could have let them compete and warned them for next time," Mourad said.

    Other controversies

    Sunday's incident marks the second time in recent months the hijab has been the centre of controversy at an amateur sporting event in Quebec involving pre-teens.

    In February, an 11-year-old Muslim girl from Ottawa was asked to remove her hijab at a soccer tournament in Laval, north of Montreal, due to safety concerns. She refused and her team pulled out of the tournament.

    And a Montreal Muslim woman recently complained that she was forced to choose between her hijab and a job as a prison guard. Authorities also cited safety concerns in that case.

    Debate over "reasonable accommodation" of racial, cultural and religious minorities surfaced several times during the Quebec election campaign.

    It has become such a hot-button issue that Premier Jean Charest has formed a committee to study it.

    With a report from CTV Montreal's Annie DeMelt and files from The Canadian Press

    What May Come: Asian Americans and the Virginia Tech Shootings

    Tamara K. Nopper
    April 17, 2007

    Like many, I was glued to the television news yesterday, keeping updatedabout the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech University. I was tryingto deal with my own disgust and sadness, especially since myprofessional life as a graduate student and college instructor is tiedto universities. And then the other shoe dropped. I found out from afriend that the news channel she was watching had reported the shooteras Asian. It has now been reported, after much confusion, that theshooter is Cho Seung-Hui, a South Korean immigrant and Virginia Techstudent.

    As an Asian American woman, I am keenly aware that Asians are about tobecome a popular media topic if not the victims of physical backlash.Rarely have we gotten as much attention in the past ten years, except,perhaps, during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots. Since then Asians areseldom seen in the media except when one of us wins a golfing match,Woody Allen has sex, or Angelina Jolie adopts a kid.

    I am not looking forward to the onslaught of media attention. Ifhistory truly does have clues about what will come, there may be severaldifferent ways we as Asian Americans will be talked about.

    One, we will watch white media pundits and perhaps even sociologistsexplain what they understand as an "Asian" way of being. They will talkabout how Asian males presumably have fragile "egos" and therefore areculturally prone to engage in kamikaze style violence. These statementswill be embedded with racist tropes about Japanese military fightersduring WWII or the Viet Cong—the crazy, calculating, and hidden Asianman who will fight to the death over presumably nothing.

    In the process, the white media might actually ask Asian Americans ourperspectives for a change. We will probably be expected to apologize insome way for the behavior of another Asian—something whites never haveto collectively do when one of theirs engages in (mass) violence, whichis often. And then some of us might succumb to the Orientalist logic ofthe media by eagerly promoting Asian Americans as real Americans andtherefore unlike Asians overseas who presumably engage in culturallyreprehensible behavior. In other words, if we get to talk at all, AsianAmericans will be expected to interpret, explain, and distancethemselves from other Asians just to get airtime.

    Or perhaps the media will take the color-blind approach instead of astrictly eugenic one. The media might try to whitewash the situationand treat Cho as just another alienated middle-class suburban kid. Insome ways this is already happening—hence the constant referrals tothe proximity of the shootings to the 8th anniversary of the Columbinekillings. The media will repeat over and over words from a letter thatCho left behind speaking of "rich kids," and "deceitful charlatans."They will ask what’s going on in middle-class communities that encouragethis type of violence. In the process they may never talk about thedirty little secret about middle-class assimilation: for non-whites, itdoes not always prevent racial alienation, rage, or depression. Thismay be surprising given that we are bombarded with constant imagessuggesting that racial harmony will exist once we are all middle-class.But for many of us who have achieved middle-class life, even if we maynot openly admit it, alienation does not stop if you are not white.

    But the white media, being as tricky as it is, may probably talk aboutCho in ways that reflect a combination of both traditional eugenic andcolorblind approaches. They will emphasize Cho’s ethnicity and economicbackground by wondering what would set off a hard-working, quiet, SouthKorean immigrant from a middle-class dry-cleaner-owning family. Theywill wonder why Cho would commit such acts of violence, which we expectfrom Middle Easterners and Muslims and those crazy Asians from overseas,but not from hard-working South Korean immigrants. They will promoteCho as "the model minority" who suddenly, for no reason, went crazy.Whereas eugenic approaches depicting Asians as crazy kamikazes or VietCong mercenaries emphasize Asian violence, the eugenic aspect of themodel minority myth suggests that there is something about AsianAmericans that makes them less prone to expressions of anger, rage,violence, or criminality. Indeed, we are not even seen as havinglegitimate reasons to have anger, let alone rage, hence the need tofigure out what made this "quiet" student "snap."

    Given that the model minority myth is a white racist invention thatelevates Asians over minority groups, Cho will be dissected as ananomaly among South Koreans who "are not prone" to violence - unlikeBlacks who are racistly viewed as inherently violent or South Asians,Middle Easterners and Muslims who are viewed as potential terrorists.He will be talked about as acting "out of character" from the other"good South Koreans" who come here and quietly and dutifully worktowards the American dream. Operating behind the scenes of course is adiplomatic relationship between the US and South Korea forged throughbombs and military zones during the Korean War and expressed through thenew free trade agreement negotiations between the countries. Indeed,even as South Korean diplomats express concern about racial backlashagainst Asians, they are quick to disown Cho in order to maintain theimage of the respectable South Korean.

    Whatever happens, Cho will become whoever the white media wants him tobe and for whatever political platform it and legislators want to push.In the process, Asian Americans will, like other non-whites, be pickedapart, dissected, and theorized by whites. As such, this is nodifferent than any other day for Asian Americans. Only this time anAsian face will be on every television screen, internet search engine,and newspaper.

    Tamara K. Nopper is an educator, writer, and activist living in Philadelphia. She can be reached at

    In Pictures: Mohamed Harkat's Odyssey

    Mr. Harkat shows the GPS unit and ankle bracelet he must wear in July, 2006.

    Photo: Tom Hanson/CP

    July 10, 2006: Mr. Harkat shows the GPS unit and ankle bracelet he must wear.

    To view photo-gallery click HERE

    Photos: Supreme Court Case Against Security Certificates

    Adil Charkaoui stands in front of a protest banner during a Supreme Court hearing on security certificates last year.

    The Supreme Court of Canada Friday ruled unanimously to strike down a federal procedure used to deport suspected terrorists as being a violation of life, liberty and security of the person.

    To see photos click HERE

    Video: The Supreme Court Case Against Security Certificates

    The Supreme Court of Canada has struck down the key elements of the security certificate system used by the federal government to detain and deport foreign-born terrorist suspects.

    Also available HERE

    Mohamed Harkat: His every move is carefully watched

    From Saturday's Globe and Mail

    Mohamed Harkat has never been charged with a crime but spent four years in prison, held as a threat to national security. Freed by a judge though not exonerated, his every move is carefully watched, COLIN FREEZE reports

    OTTAWA — For the mostly housebound Harkats, even the most mundane excursion can test the limits of national security.

    When they do venture out, agents tail them incessantly in government cars. Go through an amber light? Make a U-turn? The agents call in the possible infractions on walkie-talkies. When the couple, Mohamed and Sophie Harkat, went to see Bon Cop, Bad Cop at the movie theatre, officials turned up to sit behind them. They've even followed Mr. Harkat into washrooms.

    "It's ridiculous," an exasperated Mr. Harkat said in an interview, sitting in their basement apartment at his mother-in-law's house in Ottawa. "They just want my life to be difficult. There is no danger in going to the bathroom to take a pee."

    A 38-year-old Algerian immigrant, Mr. Harkat has never been charged with a crime. But he did spend nearly four years jailed under an extraordinary Canadian law that declares him a possible al-Qaeda agent. Then, last June, he was released on house arrest to live at his in-laws', after his French-Canadian wife vowed she would effectively serve as his warden.

    But the Harkats, who are permitted up to 12 hours of outside time a week, are finding that normalcy eludes them. They live in a peculiar legal limbo, getting by on social assistance, costing the government untold thousands of dollars -- with no end in sight.

    Mr. Harkat is one of five alleged immigrant Islamists deemed threats to public safety by federal security certificates.

    On Thursday, after a seven-year detention, the government released Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, an Egyptian who once ran a Sudanese farming operation for Osama bin Laden. Another Egyptian terrorism suspect, Mahmoud Jaballah, was freed yesterday.

    In each case, judges who have seen classified intelligence have upheld the certificates. But they also won't violate the suspects' rights by deporting them or jailing them indefinitely.

    This has left house arrest as the best bad option, a situation that appears to be spawning a legion of government minders tailing a handful of immigrants. The Harkats are fighting in court to get their controls relaxed.

    Mr. Harkat, along with two of the other immigrants, also challenged the security certificates as a whole. In response, Canada's Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the certificates in February as being grossly unfair to terrorism suspects, giving Parliament a year-long grace period to come up with an acceptable substitute.

    But in the meantime, Canada's top security official says release terms such as the Harkats' are not onerous, considering what's at stake.

    "In general terms, I have little sympathy for people who come to this country, with records that . . . makes them dangerous to Canadians," Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said in an interview. The government, he said, will do everything it can "to make sure that Canadians are not harmed by individuals like that."

    He added pointedly: "These people are free at any time to go back to their country of origin."

    When a Globe and Mail reporter asked to visit the Harkats at their Ottawa apartment, Ms. Harkat requested his personal information: She has to first get all visitors cleared by the Canada Border Services Agency. Because this technically remains a deportation case, it is handled by border guards.

    The outside of the Harkat home is monitored by two closed-circuit cameras affixed to the roofing. There are no cameras inside the house, but the phone line is tapped.

    Once the journalist was granted approval and showed up at the door, Ms. Harkat asked that he check his cellphone at the threshold -- her husband is banned from using mobile phones. The phone was stashed in the mailbox, the same one where the couple receives letters only after they're opened by government officials, according to the Harkats.

    "I think the whole thing is destroying my life," said Ms. Harkat, 32, before inviting her visitor downstairs to test the strength of the locks she has installed around the home's personal computers. She keeps the key with her at all times. Her husband is banned from using the Internet.

    "The price of freedom in Canada for Moe," she said, "is that my Mom and I are his jailers, and this is the life we have."

    It certainly isn't what she expected when she met Mr. Harkat in 1999. Back then, he clerked at the Petro Canada station near her house, and she talked to him when she came in to buy Diet Pepsis. "I noticed his big brown eyes right away," she said.

    They married the next year in a Muslim ceremony (she never converted) -- about two years before Mr. Harkat was arrested.

    While she once worked as an art-gallery fundraiser, Ms. Harkat is no longer employed; her husband's case absorbs nearly all her time. But she has reinvented herself as a human-rights crusader -- she is as outspoken as her husband is soft-spoken -- and she dominates the conversation as they sit side by side in their small basement kitchen.

    "For 3½years, we saw each other through a glass window -- no human contact whatsoever. Now we're living with my Mom. . . . We live under a regime where even my seven-year-old niece had to be approved to visit here."

    Most of Mr. Harkat's days are highly predictable. "I just wake up in the morning, have a breakfast," he said. "Work out for two hours every day -- abs, shoulders, chest. The rest watching news." He is also drawn to Judge Judy, a TV show where mock trials last 15 minutes, start to finish.

    Mr. Harkat once roamed rather freely. He has always maintained that, prior to coming to Canada, he was an Algerian engineering student involved in a non-violent Islamic political movement before government roundups forced him to flee to Pakistan in the early 1990s. He said he went to work for an Islamic charity in Peshawar, a border town that has long been a transit point for mujahedeen fighters and their supporters.

    In 1995, he flew to Canada, travelling on a fake Saudi passport, and applied for refugee status. He found work in Ottawa delivering pizzas and working at the gas station before his 2002 arrest.

    Federal Court judges who have seen the secret intelligence against Mr. Harkat have upheld the security certificate, ruling that he perjured himself. In her bail decision last year, Madam Justice Eleanor Dawson wrote: "On the basis of confidential information, it is clear beyond doubt that Mr. Harkat lied under oath in court in several important respects," including his denials of knowing and assisting Islamic extremists."

    Now, government minders monitor Mr. Harkat's every move. He wears a GPS ankle bracelet, even in the shower. He is barred from communicating with people he met in prison. He avoids mosques because he can't associate with anyone who might believe in violent jihad.

    Government agents don't enter the Harkat home but follow the couple whenever they leave it. Ms. Harkat remembers that, at first, the agents wore combat boots, bulletproof vests and matching blue windbreakers. Now they come in street clothes, but their surveillance remains intense.

    Ms. Harkat says the constant crackle of their walkie-talkies is driving her crazy. When she and her husband go out, they are tailed by a green Impala, a purple minivan or a big beige Jeep.

    "I don't hate any of the officers," Ms. Harkat said. But she prefers the ones who are more sympathetic, like the female guard who admitted, "I don't like following you like this," or ones who respectfully wait outside stores when they go shopping.

    More annoying is "the most elderly guy" who follows them into grocery stores and pretends to be "squeezing melons," Ms. Harkat said. Then there's a young man in his 20s -- "in tip-top physical shape, a handsome guy" -- who does his duty to the hilt, even standing watch outside a men's room stall.

    "They see my file and they think I'm Superman," Mr. Harkat said, adding that convicted murderers face far less supervision when they get out of jail.

    Security-certificate laws have been on the books since the late 1970s. Parliament felt that Canada should be allowed to jail its most dangerous immigrants until they could be sent back to their homelands.

    Over the past 15 years, about 30 cases have been pursued, most resulting in deportations. But after the recent Supreme Court decision, Parliament has begun tinkering with the law -- "making progress," Mr. Day said. Any new law must allow defendants to know the case against them and to mount a meaningful defence, the court ruled.

    But meanwhile, suspects are increasingly being released from jails and into house arrest if cases stall, as the ones against alleged al-Qaeda suspects inevitably do. Crown lawyers, citing classified intelligence, have persuaded judges that the five men are threats who should be deported. But defence lawyers have argued persuasively that these same suspects would be tortured if kicked out -- a fundamental violation of human rights.

    So, in 2005, Adil Charkaoui, a Moroccan Montrealer accused of taking paramilitary training in Afghanistan, was ordered released after two years of custody. Mr. Harkat was granted house arrest the next year. Now come the two Egyptians, Mr. Mahjoub and Mr. Jaballah, leaving only a Syrian suspect, Hassan Almrei, in a new multimillion-dollar jail in Kingston built specifically for these cases.

    The essential conundrum remains: How far can Canada compromise individual rights in order to safeguard national security?

    One thing seems certain to Wesley Wark, professor at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto: The security-certificate status quo cannot stand.

    "When they were devised, the assumption was that they would be a relatively speedy tool for expulsion," Prof. Wark said. But "the situation we now have, that we move from detention to control orders and leave them for indefinite duration, I don't think that can survive very long."

    Prof. Wark said fundamental change is required. "The whole regime, every time you patch it up, another problem seems to come along." Ultimately, he said, Canada might have to rely on conventional criminal trials, covert surveillance, or hammering out more ironclad anti-torture assurances with countries such as Egypt and Syria.

    Martin Rudner, a counterterrorism professor at Carleton University, suggested the real problems lie in a country that values individual rights above collective ones. "Even if you're not a Canadian, once your toes touch Canadian soil you have a range of rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms," he said. "The French put you on an airplane and you go home."

    The Harkats aren't leaving, but the price is palpable.

    Before Easter weekend, Ms. Harkat e-mailed federal officials an itinerary of proposed outings, as she is required to do. The couple would gas up at an Esso station, drink coffee at a Tim Hortons, shop at a Canadian Tire, catch a flick at the Bytowne cinema, eat at the Shwarma Palace, maybe go for a walk along Dow's Lake.

    That was the plan. But the Canada Border Service Agency refused the request on the grounds that the shortened work week meant the agency did not have the required two days to process the application.

    The Harkats stayed home.