Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) joined the family of Mahmoud Jaballah, represented by his lawyer Rocco Galati, in a press conference in Toronto this morning. Mr. Jaballah, a native of Egypt and a refugee claimant in Canada, has been in detention and solitary confinement for over a year because of a CSIS-issued Security Certificate. This was the second such certificate to be issued against Mr. Jaballah by CSIS, based on the same allegations as the first one which had landed him in detention for seven months in 1999 and was later quashed by a federal court. Following is the statement delivered by Amina Sherazee, CAF Legal Counsel, at the conference.
Considering Canada’s stated commitment to the protection of those who are subject to death and torture, to protect and promote the rights of women and children by fostering respect for human rights, the Canadian Arab Federation joins the Jaballah family in calling upon the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to end the relentless persecution f Mahmoud Jaballah.
The Minister’s obsessive pursuit in prosecuting a man who has already been vindicated by the courts, and who has now been found to be in extreme danger if returned to Egypt, has only accomplished:
1. The institutionalisation of the injustice he has suffered
2. The suffering, impoverishment and harassment of his wife and children
CAF believes that the decision last week by the Immigration Minister [that Mr. Jaballah would be killed or tortured if returned to Egypt] makes it clear that Mr. Jaballah is in need of protection.
CAF is outraged that instead of offering him and his family that protection the government has instead subjected him to similar proceeding here as he was subjected to in Egypt, in that he has been and continues to be incarcerated without charge, without conviction, and without a fair, independent and impartial process.
Much attention has rightfully been given to the draconian immigration provisions that have placed Mr. Jaballah in jail for over four years during his time in Canada.
But CAF would like to focus on the silent, innocent and invisible victims of the secret trial provisions and prolonged detentions.
Separated from their father for unbearably long periods of time filled with longing, Jaballah’s children have suffered needlessly and have lost the support, guidance and companionship of their father.
It is not in the best interest of the children for their father to continue to languish in prison. CAF demands the release of Mr. Jaballah so that he may return to his home and to his wife and children, as he has already been cleared by the Federal court.
We demand full, open and fair trials so that people detained and their families learn why they are arrested, detained and prosecuted.
CAF calls for an end to the separation of Mr. Jaballah from his family who have suffered for too long. A failure to see the pain and hardship endured by the Jaballah family is a failure in humanity.
CAF implores Canadian society not to turn their backs on the Jaballah family.
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