The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

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Amnesty International 'Deeply Disappointed' by Supreme Court's Decision to Reject Arar Appeal

Human rights organization urges President Obama and Congress to formally apologize and provide compensation for illegal detention


Geneve Mantri, counter
terrorism with justice government relations director for Amnesty
USA, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme
decision to reject an appeal from a Canadian engineer, Maher Arar, who
was mistakenly picked up by the U.S. government and rendered to Syria
he was thought to be a terrorism suspect:

"The complete lack of remedy and
in the U.S. for what happened to Maher Arar is shocking. Eight years
after Arar was rendered to Syria where he was tortured, it is a national
disgrace that the United States cannot even bring itself to apologize.

"Canada's government established a
of inquiry which cleared Arar of any connection to terrorism, issued a
formal apology from the Prime Minister and provided financial
for Arar's suffering. The U.S. government, who removed him without any
hearing to a country where the torture and incommunicado detention of
prisoners is common, cannot formally acknowledge, let alone hold
those responsible for what happened to Maher Arar - years after the
was revealed.

"Informally, members of Congress and
U.S. administration officials have apologized to Arar for the U.S.
mistakes, but that is not enough. President Obama and Congress must
formally apologize to Arar and offer him restitution.

"The Obama administration talks about
its values and practicing what it preaches, but the only values that
in this situation are secrecy, hypocrisy and silence in the face of
visited on an innocent man."

Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights for all. Our supporters are outraged by human rights abuses but inspired by hope for a better world - so we work to improve human rights through campaigning and international solidarity. We have more than 2.2 million members and subscribers in more than 150 countries and regions and we coordinate this support to act for justice on a wide range of issues.