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CCR Demands Release of Inspector General Report on Maher Arar

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One Page "Summary" of Report Called "Absurd"


Jen Nessel, press@ccrjustice.org

April 28, 2008, New York – Today, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) sent a formal letter to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to the single page Unclassified Summary of the OIG’s report released on the case of Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen and rendition victim sent by the United States to be tortured in Syria more than five years ago. The letter states, “More than four years since the OIG inspection began, the release of the one-page Unclassified Summary is wholly inadequate,” especially as compared to the Canadian public inquiry, which released two public reports after a lengthy investigation.

Citing an article in Harper’s magazine, the letter further states that the delay of the OIG report’s release has been reportedly “due to efforts by very senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to suppress it, under the pretext that it would harm defending against Mr. Arar’s case, but more pointedly because it would expose ‘serious misconduct’… The continued delay in releasing Report OIG-08-18 calls into serious question the independence of the DHS OIG.”

Mr. Arar said, “By suppressing the Report and issuing one page of publicly available information, this U.S. administration adds insult to injury. This ‘summary’ raises more questions than answers about the government’s behavior, and does not answer the central question— why I was sent to Syria to be tortured.” [Mr. Arar will not be speaking to the press.]

“This so-called summary is absurd: once again, the U.S. is covering up illegal acts and preventing those responsible from being held accountable,”
said Maria LaHood, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “We demand that the full report of the Inspector General be made public in the name of transparency and justice.”

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.