Canada's Guantanamo

Richard Fidler rfidler at
Mon May 5 08:47:37 MDT 2003

Jaballah Family Awaits Word on Potential Release After 22 Months in
Solitary Confinement

Jaballah, Arrested Without Being Charged or Knowing the Alleged Case
Against Him, Being Held on CSIS "Security Certificate"

"Canadians would be greatly concerned if the facts of this case were
widely known." Federal Court Justice Andrew MacKay, who is supposed to
rule on the case of Mahmoud Jaballah


Matthew Behrens of Homes not Bombs

TORONTO, ONTARIO (April 30, 2003)-- Any day now, the family of Mahmoud
Jaballah - a mother and her six children - will know whether they can
embrace their father and husband for the first time in over 22 months.
At least that's if Federal Court Justice Andrew MacKay returns his
decision, promised within 10 days to two weeks of a hearing on April 11,
on whether Jaballah can finally be released from the torture of solitary
confinement at the Metro West Detention Centre in northwest Toronto.

It was on Friday, April 11 that the troubled MacKay shocked reporters,
spectators and, perhaps, even himself when he stated that "in this great
city of Toronto, we have our own Guantanamo Bay," a reference to the
illegal detention camp run by the U.S. where untold numbers of Afghans
and others are held in violation of a slew of international laws.

MacKay made the comment as he considered an abuse of process motion by
attorney Rocco Galati to release from prison Mahmoud Jaballah, an
unfairly targetted man who has spent almost two years in solitary
confinement since his August, 2001 arrest on a CSIS security
certificate. Under the certificate, you are not allowed to know the case
against you, and your attorney is left with little or no "evidence" to
cross examine, because the core of the case is kept secret for reasons
of "national security."

Jaballah has the rare distinction of someone who was able to beat the
odds against this medieval practice, as seven months after he was
arrested on a security certificate in March, 1999, Federal Court Justice
Bud Cullen quashed the certificate, freeing Jaballah. Attorneys for
Jaballah claim that CSIS officers perjured themselves on the stand
during that hearing and "otherwise stretched the realm of credulity into
an Alice in Wonderland sphere where judicial reality was suspended."

Indeed, CSIS officer "David," who cannot have his full name used,
apparently threatened to have Jaballah arrested by the RCMP if he
refused to cooperate with CSIS. "David" denied this happened while on
the stand, but what he didn't know was that Jaballah's then 12-year-old
son, Ahmad, had been able to quietly tape-record these threats,
including the one in which Jaballah was told by the CSIS agent, "If you
think that going to jail is not going to hurt you, you're wrong."


More information about the Marxism mailing list