What: Press briefing, street theatre and mic check
When: 12:30-1:00pm, Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 (12th anniversary of Mahjoub’s arrest and International Day in Support of Victims of Torture)
Where: Fredericton City Hall, corner of Queen and York.
Who: Josephine Savarese, Fredericton Peace Coalition and STU Professor of Criminology, Michel Boudreau, N.B. Federation of Labour, Alex Bailey, Fredericton & District Labour Council, Matthew Hayes, STU Professor of Sociology, and the Four Freedom Figthers Theatre Troupe.
On June 26, 2000, Mohammad Mahjoub was arrested in a Hollywood-style arrest outside his workplace. One of five Muslim men arrested under Canada’s notorious security certificate legislation, he has spent the last twelve years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement or under house arrest, yet he has never been charged.
Security certificates allow the government to indefinitely detain and deport people based on their profile. Courts have ruled that the presumption of innocence does not apply. The case against the detainees, assembled by Canada’s spy agency CSIS, is secret; it is not disclosed to detainees or their lawyers.
CSIS concedes that the bulk of the information they are using against him was obtained from sources known to use torture. Mahjoub’s phone conversations with his lawyers have been illegally tapped, evidence in his case has been destroyed or concealed by CSIS and his confidential defense files were seized by the prosecution (resulting in 11 lawyers being kicked off his case earlier this month).
On June 26th, Mahjoub and his supporters will gather to demand his immediate liberation and that of the other two men still held under security certificates. Adil Charkaoui, who spoke at public events and in university classes in Fredericton in 2009, had his security certificate struck down later that year. Charkaoui’s Fredericton trip made national media headlines when U.S. authorities ordered an Air Canada flight carrying Charkaoui to return to Fredericton. The N.B. Federation of Labour, the province’s largest labour organization, representing 40,000 workers in New Brunswick, passed a resolution against security certificates in 2009.
Supporters will demand justice, apology, reparations and citizenship for all five men and accountability for all officials responsible for injustices against these men.