Thursday, November 03, 2005

More on Maher Arar

This post from February of this year describes the plight of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was taken into custody by U.S. officials at New York City's Kennedy International Airport in September 2002 and then rendered by the United States to Syria. When he was released a year later--without ever having been charged with a crime--Arar claimed that he had been tortured while in a Syrian prison. According to a report prepared by Stephen J. Toope, former dean of the McGill University School of Law, Arar and other Canadian citizens who were rendered to Syria by the United States were unquestionably tortured while in Syrian custody. Regarding Mr. Arar, the report states, "Although there have been few lasting physical effects, Mr. Arar's psychological state was seriously damaged and he remains fragile. His relationships with members of his immediate family have been significantly impaired. Economically, the family has been devastated."

Meanwhile, the United States Congress is still unwilling to condemn torture unequivocally, although in fairness it appears that an increasing number of Republicans in the House of Representatives are now willing to vote for the McCain Amendment to the defense appropriations bill.

[Via Body and Soul.]