By Alex Neve, John Packer and Roch Tassé – A timely conference on Wednesday reminded us that as debate swirls about new national security measures in Canada, vital lessons have emerged over the past decade about protecting human rights.
In the wake of last week’s attack in Ottawa the government is rolling out proposed changes to Canada’s security laws and practices. We don’t yet know the full extent.
On Wednesday, a remarkable group of judges, lawyers, journalists, activists, former diplomats, academics and community leaders came together in Ottawa. We were joined by individuals whose lives have been turned upside down by human rights violations associated with national security investigations, charges, arrest and imprisonment.
The conference marked the decade since the ground-breaking judicial inquiry into the shocking treatment of Canadian citizen Maher Arar was established in 2004. That inquiry found that Canadian actions, negligence and dysfunction had set Maher Arar up for grave human rights violations, including torture, in Syria.
Also read an op-ed by Omar Khadr: Misguided security laws take a human toll
The International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group is honoured to receive a Community Partner award from one of our member organizations, the National Council of Canadian Muslims, for our collaborative work over the past twelve years. Our national coordinator, Roch Tassé, will be accepting the award at the NCCM’s upcoming Ottawa fundraising dinner on Sunday, October 26, 2014, themed “Be Empowered: Standing Up for Canadian Muslims”.
Learn more about the NCCM’s work
Presented by the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, Amnesty International Canada, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre and the Centre for International Policy Studies at the University of Ottawa.
Keynote panel featuring:
Honorable Frank Iacobucci
Internal Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin
Honorable John Major
Commission of Inquiry into the Investigation of the Bombing of Air India Flight 182
Honorable Dennis O’Connor
Commission of Inquiry into the Actions of Canadian Officials in Relation to Maher Arar
Other panels will discuss the personal dimension of national security-related human rights violations, challenges for the legal profession and ongoing concerns related to oversight of national security activities. The conference will also feature a morning panel with four leading journalists working at the forefront of national security and human rights in Canada over the past decade.
29 OCTOBER 2014
Conference 8:00 – 17:30
Wine and cheese 17:30 – 19:00
Tabaret 112, uOttawa, 75 Laurier avenue East, Ottawa
This event will be bilingual with simultaneous interpretation
Schedule and registration coming soon