Friday, January 26, 2007

Canada apologizes to torture victim Arar

Who's apologizing now?

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper has apologized (and paid out approx $10M) to Maher Arar for wrongly accusing him of terrorist ties. He then lands in a Syrian jail for 1 year....and is tortured.

"On behalf of the government of Canada, I wish to apologize to you…and your family for any role Canadian officials may have played in the terrible ordeal that all of you experienced in 2002 and 2003," Harper said.

"I sincerely hope that these words and actions will assist you and your family in your efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in your lives," he said. Arar said the apology and package will allow him to finally put his difficulties aside.

BUT, the US had a great deal to do with the fact that Arar ended up in's more:

A U.S. politician, meanwhile, said Friday after the apology was issued to Arar that it is time for the U.S. to look at its role in the Arar affair. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat who represents Vermont, said the U.S. government could have treated Arar differently than it did.

"The question remains why, even if there were reasons to consider him suspicious, the U.S. government shipped him to Syria where he was tortured, instead of to Canada for investigation or prosecution."