Government to compensate torture victims
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Feb 17, 2017  |  Vote 0    0

Government to compensate torture victims

OTTAWA — The federal government will give apologies and compensation to three Canadians who were tortured in Syria.

The Canadian Press has independently confirmed a Toronto Star report that the government will settle lawsuits filed by the men over the federal role in their ordeals.

In October 2008, an inquiry led by former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci found Canadian officials contributed to the torture of Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin by sharing information with foreign agencies.

Iacobucci concluded the men were brutalized in Syrian custody and, in the case of El Maati, in Egypt as well.

The former judge cited the RCMP, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and Foreign Affairs for mistakes in the cases.

All three men deny involvement in terrorism and none has ever been charged.

Their legal actions have been grinding slowly through the courts for years. The three are seeking compensation for experiences they say shattered their reputations and left them physically and psychologically battered.

In statements of defence filed in the cases, the government said that if mistreatment did occur, responsibility rests with Syrian and Egyptian authorities.

There was no immediate word about when the settlements would be announced, or about the financial compensation involved.

Maher Arar, another Arab-Canadian who was abused in a Syrian prison, received an apology and $10.5 million from the federal government.

In June 2009, the House of Commons public safety committee recommended apologies and compensation for Almalki, El Maati and Nureddin.

The government rejected the call, saying it would be inappropriate to do so because the men were suing federal agencies.

The MPs also urged the government to do "everything necessary" to remove false allegations about the men and their families in records held by national security agencies.

Almalki, an Ottawa electronics engineer, was detained in Syria in 2002 and held for 22 months.

El Maati, a former truck driver, was arrested in November 2001 upon flying to Syria to celebrate his wedding — nuptials that did not take place.

Nureddin, a Toronto geologist, was detained by Syrian officials in December 2003 as he crossed the border from Iraq, where he was visiting family. He was held for 34 days in Syria in late 2003 and early 2004.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

By The Canadian Press

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(6) Comment

By 62burn | FEBRUARY 17, 2017 09:50 PM
The federal government will give apologies and compensation to Canadians, for the taxation torture they have been saddled with. in that same spirit baby pet sent tranny to its new riding in churchill. lastly all fringe groups will be ignored. god be praised!
By Jupiter | FEBRUARY 17, 2017 08:49 PM
How about apologies and compensation to Ontario taxpayers?
By Brewster | FEBRUARY 17, 2017 06:30 PM
Crazy stuff this, I agree with both of you. They go "home" and right back into the hell hole they came here to escape from. We need to establish a rule, go there at your own risk.
By stan | FEBRUARY 17, 2017 06:28 PM
Just how much middle east money is being sent to the elites in Canada to warrant this action??? During my childhood I was a victim of both mental and physical abuse because of my ethnic and immigrant status, would some one please cut me a check....#drain the swamp
By E | FEBRUARY 17, 2017 05:59 PM
Yay! More money for people traveling of their own accord in a country with questionable Human Rights. And why were they in jail anyway? In Rome, do as the Rome, do as the Romans, or don't go there.
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