Posts Tagged ‘Maher Arar’

Police organization both on the Canadian and United States end faced plenty of public shame because of the deportation and torture of Maher Arar. Maher Arar was deported to Syria to be tortured in which United States officials tried receive answer to his allege ties to al-Qaeda. What these officials concluded was Maher had no ties to the terrorist group and he received a large compensation for the time he was tortured. But to this day he is still under the United States watch list (Lobel, 2008). This situation have made people in Canada worried in which it may happen to them (rapley, 2007). It has led many to judge the authorities because of this devious act. Faith in the way the  police carry themselves is diminishing, because police deviance and corruption has been a growing concern with much more videos and pictures of police brutality (Click on this link to see a list of videos of police brutality) being showed through the media and social networks.

This topic is related to police deviance and accountability through what Maurice Punch (2009) stated called noble cause corruption. Noble Cause corruption is defined as concept of officers’ acting illegally, not for personal gain, but to fulfill moral obligations, stands as a testimony to the difficulties encountered by those entrusted with the public’s safety (Harrison, 1999). Canadian authorities and United States authorities acted on false information that stated Maher Arar was a suspected terrorist (Lobel, 2008), and these authorities were protecting their citizens from a possible threat. Aside from taking care of the well being of their countries, these authorities have come under fire as to why the Maher Arar situation was handled the way it did. Authorities cut corners in the investigation which led them to be able to detain a Canadian citizen in Maher Arar. The United States authorities did not deport Arar back to Canada, instead deport him to Syria where they practice torture. Also United States and the Syrian authorities worked together to allow Maher Arar to be tortured for one year (Lobel, 2008). Maher Arar was denied access to speak to a lawyer. And he was not allowed to be seen by a lawyer for the time he was in Syria. While in the United States Arar was denied the right speak to a lawyer as well.

Process corruption also would be regarded to the Arar case about police deviance. Process corruption and noble cause corruption can linked together in police deviance (Punch, 2009). In article Witch Hunts: From Salem To Guantanamo Bay process of  investigation, detention, and incarceration of Maher Arar was corrupt. It was reported that Maher Arar was constantly denied to speak to anyone from Canada. Many time he ask to speak to his family member and lawyers but was not allowed to at the expense of the United States authorities. Same thing happened to him while incarcerated in Syria. Upon his release Maher Arar was denied a public inquiry from the Canadian Government. The process of this case was also corrupt because under international agreement, it was stated that the Canadian authorities should have been informed of Maher Arar being detained because he is Canadian citizen (Rapley, 2007). United states failed to inform the Canadian authorities of Maher arar being detained. The United States officials did not have sufficient evidence to go and detain and deport Maher Arar (Lobel, 2009).

With the added attention to national security and war on terror, around the same time Maher Arar was first pulled aside have the officials on both side acting base d on a term noted in Police corruption: Deviance, Accountability, and reform in policing by Maurice Punch (2009) as being seen as “high policing”. The term high policing are noted in this text as absorbent policing it controlled by intelligence gathering. Intelligence gathering is one of the principles of high policing. With the information that was shared among both US and Canadian officials, it was poorly reviewed and therefore  erroneous as they decided on deporting Maher Arar to Syria (Larsen, 2006).

There are a stack of books that invesigated The Arar Affair, and these books are The O’Conner Commission. The inquiry that Maher Arar reluctantly wanted; it showcased many problems of high policing and police deviance in this case and cleared Maher Arar from any wrong doings that occured. The highlights of this inquiry noted that Maher Arar was in no way connected to any terrorist groups which he was first accused of. In Addition to this inquiry Arar and his attorney were both mislead and mistreated because they were mislead and lied to during the detainment and deportation.  A complaint to the former US Attorney General John Ashcroft stated that Arar due process rights  was violated under the fifth amendment due to him being deported, imprisoned, and tortured (Lobel, 2008) and that both the US Government and Syrian work together as a team during their investigations.

Since Arar was never charged with his allege ties to terrorism, he demanded answer as to why he was detain and deported. After being released on October 5 2003 Maher Arar demanded that a public inquiry be issued. Public inquiry in Canada is formal process to be instituted by the government, it requires one or more commissioner and it entails the right to subpoenas witnesses (Rapley, 2007). But the Canadian government denied his request for one. After going back and forth with the government Arar was able to obtain an inquiry, but only on the RCMP, and it was stated that the inquiry was not public (Rapley, 2007). His persistence to prove his innocence, he eventually received a inquiry (O’Conner Commission) only into the RCMP in what led people to believe the government had to much to hide in this case.

The Maher Arar case showcase a transformation of the all ready existent policy called rendition, which was a criminal law technique now transformed into a preventative tactic after 9/11 (Lobel, 2008). During the Bush administration, kidnapping was a method used to extradite fugitives that were accused of a crime. Rendition was illegal under the international law but it was used to being terrorist or suspects of terrorism to the United States or other countries. The bush administration remade rendition so that an individual can be brought to trail to gather information about future terrorist plan, through a means of coercive interrogation. Maher Arar was an example of this exact tactic.

References

Rapley, R. (2007). Witch Hunts: From Salem to Guantanamo Bay. Montreal: Mcgill-Queen’s University Press

Lobel, Jules. Review of Litiation, Symposium2008, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p479-500, 22p

FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin; Aug99, Vol. 68 Issue 8, p1, 7p, 2 Black and White Photographs, 1 Diagram

Punch, Maurice. (2009). Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Portland, Oregon: Willan Publishing.

http://nswg-news.blogspot.com/2006_10_01_archive.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7438508.stm

http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=1a86a2e3-8acb-4791-b603-85afb52c6c87

In Canada we are fortunate to have a stable criminal justice system. When people are accused of a crime they are presumed innocent, and it is incumbent upon the state to demonstrate their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law governed by rules of due process. Despite this, there are some instances where our criminal justice system may make mistakes that is detrimental to the reputation of policing and law organizations. Some that are less fortunate have to suffer under brutal and unfair situations which would seem unappealing to the westernized world that we reside in. Some countries in the world use cruel and unusual punishments as methods of interrogation and execution of alleged criminals. In these same countries they are no stranger to police deviance and corruption.

The web audit on Maher Arar showed many reliable sources such as, CBC, Vancouver Sun, and the Globe and Mail. These sites helped me produce my overview of this topic. Also article by Jules Lobel Review of Litigation gave some really good insight into the Arar case. But these website often reiterated the information that I already had for the blog topic. Also I came across one website with the caption “Maher Arar is a liar”, in which this blogger bashes Maher Arar about the ordeal he was in. It is kind to take this source seriously due to the fact they do not have any real sources about the Arar case.

Maher Arar came to Canada in 1987 and is a full citizen of Canada. He attended McGill University where he obtained his bachelors degree in computer engineering. He and his family moved from Montreal to Ottawa where in 2001 he opened his own consulting company, Simmscoms inc.; Arar was detained for 12 days in the US and deported to Syria and spent another year in jail. How this case became such big deal to the media in regards to police deviance was Maher Arar was detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport (NYC) during a layover where he was coming back from a family vacation in Tunisia. The officials in New York because he was “subject to lookout for” as being apart of a terrorist organization (Lobel, 2008) After his detention in the US he got deported to Syria. Syria is known to practice torture and it is apart of Syrian police culture to get information from their suspects (Lobel, 2008). What Arars’ lawyers argued was the US officials sent him to Syria because the US official’s knew that they practice torture and they wanted answer’s from Maher Arar about his allege ties to a terrorist group by the name of Al-Queda. During the one year he was imprisoned in Syria, he was kept in inhumane conditions and was beaten daily with cables by the Syrian officials (Lobel, 2008). At one point during incarceration he lied about being involved with Al-Queda to ease the torture that was placed on him. Also since he wasn’t an American citizen his request for legal aid in Syria was denied. Maher Arar was released in October. 5, 2003 and the media quickly got a hold of Arar’s story. There were many inquiries and investigation that were issued in this case. Most of the investigation was about looking into the involvement of Canadian and US officials sending an individual under extraordinary rendition, which means the illegal transportation of a person from one nation to another. After all the legal proceeding, what was ultimately concluded was that Maher Arar had no involvement in terrorism. He was cleared of all charges, received compensation of around $11.5 million from the Canadian government, and he received an apology from Canadian government. This topic is significant to the issue of police deviance because the US law enforcement illegally deported a Canadian citizen to Syria, where he was tortured for a year.

The people involved attempted to perform a noble cause for the greater good of the society by protecting their citizen’s from a suspected terrorist (Punch, 2009), but they did it illegally and inappropriate manner. Improper investigation and practice were involved in this case. Due to lack of information they had also contributed to the deportation of Maher Arar. Clearly They broke an International law by deporting Maher Arar to Syria knowingly that they do torture people to retrieve information (Lobel, 2008), especially information in regards to terrorism. During a time when 9/11 and terrorism is still fresh in the minds of the Government and the law enforcement officers, these agencies would do anything to get their hands on this type or lead and information to protect their country.

References

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBWp4iMnHN0

Lobel, Jules. Review of Litigation, Symposium2008, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p479-500, 22p

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar

Punch, Maurice. (2009). Police Corruption: Deviance, accountability and reform in policing. Portland, Oregon: Willan Publishing.