The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

...and justice for all?

A Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, is suing the U.S. gov't for illegally detaining him and forcibly removing him to Syria where he was tortured for 10 months. The response of the gov't, our gov't, is that they don't turn over people for torture and, they claim, Arar is a member of Al Queda. They have offered no proof, claiming that to do so would compromise national security, but have asked that the suit be thrown out without any review of the facts. Arar's arrest and removal to Syria has been well documented. According to the U.S. State Department:
"There's...our obligations under the Convention Against Torture, which is, I think the basic obligation there is you can't turn someone over, even if he's a terrorist, even if he's a murderer, even if he's done every kind of bad thing in the world, if the likelihood, if it's more probable than not that he will be tortured, then you can't turn him over." - Michael Kozak, Acting Assistant Secretary for Democracy Human Rights and Labor
Also from the State Department:
"Syria's human rights record remained poor. In an ongoing dialogue with Syria's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on civil society and human rights issues, U.S. officials emphasized the importance of respecting human rights..." - Supporting Human Rights and Democracy: The U.S. Record 2004 - 2005 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State
You do the math.


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