Canada has made a ground-breaking step towards justice. Today, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced that formal criminal charges have been filed in Canada with the public prosecutor against a Syrian intelligence officer accused of torturing Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar. An arrest warrant and Interpol notice have been issued, in the hope of extraditing Col. George Salloum to face Canadian justice. This is the first-ever charge of its kind in Canada.
Arar was illegally renditioned by US officials to Syria where he was tortured and held without charge for over a year in 2002-03 Syrian officials later admitted Arar was completely innocent. He was also exonerated by a subsequent Canadian Commission of Inquiry, which criticized the irresponsible sharing of flawed information by Canadian agencies in the case.
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group - CSILC, a coalition of which Inter Pares is a member, has supported the Maher Arar case since the beginning, when Maher was incarcerated and tortured in Syrian prisons. Read ICLMG press release.
Watch Monia Mazigh reads her husband Maher Arar’s response to the RCMP announcement.