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Canada to Deport Suspected Terrorist to Syria

This is unbelievable. Canada, which at least has appeared to be sympathetic to the plight of Maher Arar, whom the U.S. grabbed at JFK changing planes and deported to Syria where he says he was tortured, is now preparing to do the same thing to a suspect in its custody.

The federal government is moving to deport a suspected terrorist to Syria. Hassan Almrei, who recently ended a 40-day hunger strike at a Toronto-area jail, has admitted to using a false passport and making several visits to Afghanistan as a guerrilla fighter. Almrei, 29, will be deported within 2 1/2 weeks, a government official told a judge at a hearing Monday.

The Syrian refugee has been detained for the last two years on a security certificate, accused of being a part of an international document forgery ring with ties to al Qaeda. Almrei's last chance to stay in Canada now rests with a federal court judge, who could stay the deportation order until a court determines his status. A stay application is set to be heard on Wednesday in Toronto.

Almrei, who fled to Canada from Syria fours years ago and was given refugee status, says he will be tortured and maybe even killed if he is returned to the country of his birth.

How can a civilized country like Canada even contemplate returning a human being, any human being, to a country that practices torture? Its government today said relations with the U.S. have been strained by the Maher Arar case and called upon us not to send any more of its citizens to third countries--it has given lip service to considering an inquiry into the Maher Arar torture allegations.....yet it turns around and commits the same injustice against one of its detainees that the U.S. committed against Maher Arar?

Maher Arar sued Syria and Jordan today, charging he was beaten during his ten month detention there. No charges were filed against him. Arar is seeking "$31 million for kidnapping, false imprisonment and torture." We hope he gets every penny.

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