Security certificate detainee will remain in prison until bail is raised
Court orders Mohammed Mahjoub released from detention centre
On 30 November 2009, Mohammad Mahjoub received a court order releasing him from the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre (KIHC). Until the court conditions are put in place, he will remain in hospital or prison – an intolerable situation that has already led him to a life-threatening hunger-strike.
On the day that he received the news, Mr. Mahjoub had been on a juice and water hunger-strike for six months. The sole detainee at KIHC
(dubbed "Guantanamo North" to draw attention to the practice of holding prisoners indefinitely at the facility on secret evidence), he began his hunger-strike on 1 June 2009, a month which marked the beginning of his tenth year of indefinite detention on a security certificate. He was hospitalized on Thursday, November 26th.
On 30 November 2009, the Federal Court ordered Mr. Mahjoub released from KIHC into house arrest pending the final outcome of his case. This time he will live alone. The complex conditions which will govern his life can be read in full at http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/DES-7-08.pdf.
As the details of the bail package are worked out, a process which could take weeks, Mr. Mahjoub will remain in hospital or prison.
The 50-year old father of two was accepted as a convention refugee in Canada in 1996, having fled Egypt, where he was tortured and subject to other ill treatment. He settled in Toronto, married and had two children. However, in June 2000 he was arrested on a security certificate and threatened with deportation to Egypt, the very country where Canada had determined he was at risk. Since then, he has been detained, including long periods in solitary confinement, and has been denied any meaningful opportunity to respond to the allegations against him. In February 2007, the Supreme Court struck down the security certificate process as failing to provide constitutionally-guaranteed rights to a fair trial, but this did not restore Mr. Mahjoub's freedom. The government merely passed a slightly modified, still fundamentally unjust, law and issued a new security certificate against him. Transferred to house arrest in April 2007, Mr. Mahjoub returned to KIHC two years later, in March 2009, in order to free his wife and two children from the unbearable burden of the intrusive and suffocating house arrest regime.
PLEASE CONTRIBUTE TO BAIL AND LIVING COSTS
Many thanks to the outpouring of solidarity in response to our last appeal and for the many letters that were sent in support of Mr. Mahjoub to the Minister of Public Safety.
Mr. Mahjoub urgently needs our continued support: bail must be raised before he can be released and – because he is prevented from working – funds are needed for his new apartment. The faster we raise the funds, the faster this man, who has already suffered enormous injustices and violence, could be moved to his own apartment. Please donate quickly and generously! Please ask others to contribute!
1) Make checks out to:
"Marlys Edwardh Barristers Professional Corporation in trust"
a) Include a note with your cheque stating that it is for Mohammed Mahjoub.
b) Specify whether you are
- Contributing to the cash bail. Please indicate whether or not you wish your name to remain confidential. This money will be held in trust by the court; as long as the court deems that Mr. Mahjoub has abided by the bail conditions, the money will be returned to you when Mr. Mahjoub is completely freed from the security certificate. Otherwise, the money could be forfeit. Mr. Mahjoub will not be released from the detention centre until bail is raised. DURING THIS TIME HE WILL REMAIN IN THE INTOLERABLE SITUATION THAT HAS ALREADY LED HIM TO A LIFE-THREATENING HUNGER STRIKE. We still need $12,500.
- Making an outright donation. This will go towards Mr. Mahjoub's living expenses, including costs of outfitting a new apartment. Having been unjustly prevented from working for over nine years because of prison or court-imposed restrictions, Mr. Mahjoub must rely on community support and solidarity.
3) Send by mail to:
20 Dundas Street West, Suite 1100 Toronto Ontario Canada M5G 2G8
Background information: www. peoplescommission. org/en/mahjoub/
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