Canadian RCMP Conducting Criminal Investigation of U.S. and Syrian Officials for Maher Arar's Rendition to Torture
June 14, 2010, New York – Today, following the announcement by the U.S. Supreme Court that it had refused to hear the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) case on behalf of Canadian citizen and rendition victim Maher Arar against U.S. officials for their role in sending him to Syria to be tortured and detained for a year, Mr. Arar made a startling announcement. According to Mr. Arar and his attorneys, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been conducting a criminal investigation into U.S. as well as Syrian officials for their role in his rendition to torture.
To their knowledge, this is the first time the existence of the RCMP’s criminal investigation of U.S officials has been made public. Mr. Arar has met with the RCMP in conjunction with the investigation.
Said CCR Senior Attorney Maria LaHood, “The U.S. should be conducting its own criminal investigation of the officials responsible for sending an innocent man to Syria for a year to be interrogated under torture, not covering for them. Again, the Canadians are doing the right thing by criminally investigating not only Syrian officials, but officials from the U.S. as well. The Obama administration should look to the Canadian example and do what's right - apologize to Maher and hold his torturers accountable.”
For more on Mr. Arar’s case, including a timeline and links to videos, court papers and other documents, go to http://ccrjustice.org/ourcases/current-cases/arar-v.-ashcroft.
David Cole, Georgetown law professor and CCR cooperating attorney, Katherine Gallagher of CCR, and Jules Lobel, professor at University of Pittsburgh Law School and CCR cooperating attorney, are co-counsel in Mr. Arar’s case.
The Center for Constitutional Rights represents other victims of the Bush administration’s programs, from Iraqis tortured and abused at Abu Ghraib prison to Muslim and Arab men rounded up and abused in immigration sweeps in the U.S. in the aftermath of 9/11, to Guantánamo detainees and their families.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.