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June 14, 2006

Canadian Government Accused of Torture and Imposes Moratorium on Free Speech

Canadians are now in the news for torturing terrorists (and no longer merely with their insufferable holier than thou attitudes):

Terror suspects 'tortured,' lawyers say
Jun. 12, 2006. 07:36 PM

Tiny solitary cells under constant illumination, a mere 20 minutes of fresh air daily, and beatings at the hands of guards are indicative of the "torture" endured by some of the 17 people accused of plotting terrorist attacks in Canada, lawyers for the group said Monday.

The allegations of "cruel and unusual punishment" came as the court imposed a blanket publication ban on the legal proceedings, preventing the public from learning of any further evidence in a case of stunning allegations that has captured headlines around the world.

The treatment of the suspects, accused of plotting a number of terrorist strikes in Ontario that allegedly included bombings and taking senior politicians hostage, "constitutes torture," lawyer Rocco Galati said outside the court.

"That torture includes being kept in a room that's lit 24 hours a day, being woken up every half-hour, being beaten by the guards, on and on and on," said Galati, who represents Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, a 21-year-old health sciences graduate of McMaster University.

The solitary confinement cells in which the men and youths are housed at the Maplehurst Correctional Complex in Milton are a scant 3.4 metres by 1.8 metres, are sealed by a concrete door with only a small slit for meal delivery, and have no windows, said lawyer David Kolinsky.

Twenty-year-old terror suspect Zakaria Amara was beaten by a guard after he giggled because he felt ticklish while being searched, alleged Kolinsky, who said the guard pinned his client to the ground, drilled his knuckle into the man's cheek and said, "Is this funny?"

Many of the conditions outlined by lawyers are standard practice, said Community Safety and Correctional Services Ministry spokeswoman Julia Noonan.

"All our institutions are lit 24 hours a day," said Noonan, who added the lights are dimmed in the evenings. "For security reasons, we need to ensure that proper supervision is possible."

Twenty minutes of "fresh air and/or exercise" is also standard, and the "standard dimension" solitary cells are expressly built for "one person."

Physical abuse, however, is not tolerated by the ministry, she said.


Two of the terror suspects, Mohammed Dirie and Yasim Mohamed, are already in prison on weapons charges. Fifteen others were rounded up by police June 2 in a co-ordinated sweep, followed the next day by a news conference in which authorities displayed various items that they alleged were to be used in terrorist attacks.


Stunning allegations contained in a Crown synopsis, and shared with the media by defence lawyer Gary Batasar outside the court last week, said that 25-year-old restaurant worker Steven Chand personally wanted to behead Prime Minister Stephen Harper.



The 17 suspects face a variety of charges including knowingly participating in or contributing to terrorist activity, providing or receiving training for terrorist purposes and providing or making available property for a terrorist activity.


The Toronto Star

For the record, I don't think that the Canadians have tortured terrrorists any more than Americans have, and Americans have not. But the silver lining around the cloud of such an unwarranted accusation is that it allows the Canadians to feel what Americans have unjustly been force to feel, often at the hands (and pens and word processors) of Canadians.

I love this line:

The allegations of "cruel and unusual punishment" came as the court imposed a blanket publication ban on the legal proceedings, preventing the public from learning of any further evidence in a case of stunning allegations that has captured headlines around the world.

Canada, significantly less free than the United States in virtually every respect you could possibly name, is banning the freedom of the press in order to keep the light off of their government. (Or should we say, "Kanada"? Jury's still out on that one.)

Posted by Jeff at June 14, 2006 10:59 AM


Just because the Canadian media is run by a bunch of government-controlled puppets, doesn't mean that all of us are. As a matter of fact, most Canadians, I believe, take pretty much everything our media prints with a large grain (or several) of salt, or, in the case of the really ludicrous stories, several beers. The Canadian government and the media tends to like to pretend their liberal -- or at least more liberal than their US counterpoints -- but, as the story in the Toronto Star shows -- they're not. Only the truly deluded (and unfortunately, we DO have them) can't see through the smoke.
So, on behalf of all educated and cynical Canadians, I will not take offence at being tarred with the same brush our media so often tars you Americans with. We're not all the same, and most of us know it.

Posted by: Elan at July 27, 2006 06:56 AM

Yes, they're in jail, and banned from speaking, to prevent the truth from being known.

And this guy is the agent provocateur: Mubin Shaik http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mubin_Shaikh

The prison system out in Ontario is almost a cesspool.

Back in 2005, when a 47 yr old lady was put in Vanier, the women's prison near there, she suffered two seizures and the guards ignored it.

Posted by: Stephen Kawamoto at March 15, 2007 12:41 AM

the canadian governemnt is a waste of time and money, they need to go eat shit... they look out only for themselves and the media is also full of shit

Posted by: karina smith at May 11, 2007 05:58 AM

my good friend has been caught, and i still am at loss to comprehend it. we started university together and i know the government is lying and keeping them without justice.

Posted by: haroon at May 25, 2007 10:23 PM

The Canadian government has been implicated in the torture of innocent persons in this country.I have started a blog just so that I can exposedthis fact, being a victim of this government's covert actions against me for a long time. It doesn't matter what the reasons are. Torture is a human rights violation and this government is guilty of it. I will continue to expose its actions to the rest of the world on this issue. The corruption of this government is also part of the reason that these kinds of human rights abuse are taking place in this country. Read more about it on my blog.
Note: I'm unable to list my URL on this site because it is on blogger and they don't accept blogger at this site. Look me up on the internet under my name directly or under this title. "Truth Speaks. Canada's Human Rights Abuse Exposed"This will take you directly to my website.

Posted by: "Valerie Guillaume at July 16, 2009 11:49 AM

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