UN Committee Against Torture Expresses "Serious Concerns" About Canada's Compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture

June 1st, 2012 - 6:49pm

Committee against Torture, 48th session

7 May to 1 June 2012

 Torture and ill-treatment of Canadians detained abroad

  1. The Committee is seriously concerned at the apparent reluctance on part of the State party to protect rights of all Canadians detained in other countries, by comparison with the case of Maher Arar. The Committee is in particular concerned at: (arts. 2, 5, 11 and 14)

a)       The State party’s refusal to offer an official apology and compensation to the three Canadians despite the findings of the Iacobucci Inquiry. Their cases are similar to the case of Arar, in the sense that all of them were subjected to torture abroad and the Canadian officials were complicit in the violation of their rights.

b)       Canadian officials’ complicity in the human rights violation of Omar Khadr while detained at Guantánamo Bay (Canada (Prime Minister) v. Khadr, 2010 SCC 3; and Canada (Justice) v. Khadr, 2008 SCC 28) as well as the delay in approving his request to be transferred to serve the balance of his sentence in Canada.

In light of the findings of the Iacobucci Inquiry, the Committee recommends the State party to take immediate steps to ensure that Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin receive redress, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation. Furthermore, the Committee urges the State party to promptly approve Omar Khadr’s transfer application and to ensure that he receives appropriate redress for human rights violations that the Canadian Supreme Court has ruled he experienced.

See the full concluding observations of the Committee against Torture on Canada (including observations on Bill C-31) here: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cat/cats48.htm