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What has CSIS done?

(Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) - 15 August 2002)

Solicitor General needs to clarify CSIS role, provide guarantees

The Canadian Arab Federation is gravely concerned over the treatment of a Canadian citizen by the Canadian Security and Intelligence Services (CSIS). CSIS has already admitted playing a role in handing over Mohamed Jabarah, a Canadian citizen, to American authorities. CSIS describes their actions as having “facilitated [Jabara’s] transfer into U.S. hands.”

Mr. Jabarah’s guilt or innocence is not at issue here, but rather, his civil rights.  We are very concerned over the fact that CSIS, with no authority to make arrests or detentions, has handed over a Canadian citizen to a foreign country and with no due process.  This sets a very dangerous precedent.  Who’s going to go next?

CSIS seems to have acted above the law in this situation.  Had Mr. Jabarah been a suspect, he should have been turned in to the Canadian authorities, and given access to legal counsel, not whisked over the border in secret.

This clandestine action makes Canadians, especially those of Arab origin or of the Muslim faith, suspect that our civil rights and liberties are being abused by those put in place to protect us.  Should we now live in fear of our own Government?

This is a very unsettling notion that the Canadian Government should urgently renounce. 

The Canadian Arab Federation calls upon Solicitor general Lawrence MacAulay to immediately:

  1. Explain and justify the role CSIS has played in the Jabarah affair 
  2. Implement safeguards so that a situation like this will not happen again
  3. Provide assurances that the civil rights of Canadians will be respected by all intelligence and law enforcement agencies

We also call upon the Security Intelligence and Review Committee (SIRC) to investigate CSIS’ role in the Jabarah affair and ensure guarantees are in place to prevent further violations of citizens’ rights.

This is still Canada.  Or, is it?

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