Saturday, November 08, 2003

Loss of civil liberties and legal rights: the consequences: "A man born in Syria but now a Canadian citizen -- a man who has lived in Canada with his family for 15 years -- was flying home from abroad via New York last year when he was detained at JFK. Our government says he was on a terrorist watch list of some sort... The man insists he has no ties to terror whatsoever, and the Canadian government is already falling all over itself to apologize -- apparently it was a Canadian agency that listed him."

"Instead of charging this man, or trying him, or delivering him to Canada law enforcement, we denied him a lawyer or even a phone call. (He couldn't have a lawyer because he "wasn't American." If I'm detained in a Paris airport, do I now need to be a Frenchman to merit a lawyer?) The man says he was shackled, flown on a small plane to Washington, turned over to an unspecified new crowd of Americans -- and then flown to Jordan, handed over to authorities there, and tortured. For the next ten months, first in Jordan and then in Syria, he says he was tortured and ordered to sign confessions."

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