US Court Denies Maher Arar's Appeal

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CBC News (Canada)

US Court Denies Maher Arar's Appeal

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Maher Arar pauses during a news conference in Ottawa December 12, 2006. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar has again been denied the right to sue the United States over his deportation to Syria, where he was tortured.

During a September 2002 stopover in New York, while returning to Canada from a vacation in Tunisia, Arar was detained by U.S authorities, who were acting on information from Canadian security officials. Based on the erroneous Canadian information that Arar had links to al-Qaeda, the U.S. deported him to Syria, even though he was carrying a Canadian passport.

When Arar returned to Canada more than a year later, he said he had been tortured during his incarceration and accused American officials of sending him to Syria knowing that authorities there use torture.

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In New York on Monday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 against Arar. He had asked the court to overturn a decision of the U.S. District Court - Eastern District of New York, which had dismissed his suit against dozens of U.S. government officials, including former attorney-general John Ashcroft and former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge.

The New York City-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents Arar, said its attorneys could not immediately comment as they had not seen the ruling.

 

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