#Civil Rights
Citizens, MPs, NGOs, the government of Canada

In recent years, Security Certificates have been used to imprison mostly Arab and Muslim immigrants, many of whom, one arm of the Canadian government concludes, could face torture or worse if they are deported to their countries of origin.

At the same time, other arms of the government push for deportation in gross violation of the UN Convention on Torture. These men have been jailed for years on vague accusations of links to terrorist groups, unable to defend themselves as most of the evidence is held in secret.

In February, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the security certificate process, ruling it a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

As the government of Canada responds to the Supreme Court's challenge with new legislation, we invite you to join us in calling for nothing short of full adherence to the most basic human rights.

We believe the government may attempt to introduce a “special advocate,” who would have clearance to secret evidence but may not be able to even speak with their clients, as is the case in Great Britain, where some special advocates have resigned for fear they are simply legitimizing a travesty of justice.

We don't want to see some false sense of “balance” created, where a government appointed advocate makes it acceptable for our country to deport people to torture or jail them indefinitely without the ability to properly defend themselves.

Because human rights are inalienable;

Because the rights in question, enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are for all, not just those with formal citizenship;

Because everyone deserves the right to a fair trial, including the right to fully know the case against him and to retain and fully instruct a lawyer in his defence;

Because indefinite detention is known to psychologically degrade a human being;

Because the practice of deporting people to lands where they are likely to experience ill-treatment, torture and even death is illegal, immoral and abominable;

Because it is not necessary that governments legislate away civil liberties to protect residents against terrorist attacks;

We, the undersigned:

Implore all who are concerned about human rights to consider what kind of a society they want to live in and act out against the erosion of civil liberties;

Call on NGOs and grassroots organizations to inform and organize their supporters against security certificates and other Canadian security measures which violate basic human rights;

Urge honourable members of parliament to speak out and vote against any bill that aims to retain the security certificate process;

Urge the government of Canada to either: 1) charge criminally those being detained under security certificates or released on draconian bail conditions, and allow them a fair trial; or 2) release them unconditionally;

Further urge the Government of Canada to eliminate the security certificate process from Canadian law.

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The A Call to Abolish Security Certificates petition to Citizens, MPs, NGOs, the government of Canada was written by andrew and is in the category Civil Rights at GoPetition.