December 10 marks International Human Rights Day. Two years ago on International Human Rights Day, Mohamed Harkat, an Algerian refugee, was arrested in Ottawa, and has been in jail, without charge or bail on secret "evidence" neither he nor his lawyer is allowed to see, ever since. He is one of five Muslim men held under Canada's secret trial process. Mohammad Mahjoub (held since June, 2000), Mahmoud Jaballah (August, 2001), Hassan Almrei (solitary confinement since October, 2001), and Adil Charkaoui (May 2003) all face deportation to torture.

The three committees working on secret trials are gathering the names of organizations and individuals to be publicly presented December 10 in Ottawa for the following statement. We would ask that you take this statement to your organization for endorsement and send endorsements to:

If signing as an individual, please include your geographic location and position (where relevant)


Statement Against Secret Trial Security Certificates



We, the undersigned, have grave concerns regarding the continued use of sections 9, 76-87 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which allow for the imprisonment in Canada of refugees and permanent residents under the authority of a "Security Certificate":


We are particularly concerned that those detained under security certificates are:

· Being imprisoned indefinitely on secret evidence, though no charges have been laid against them;

· Tried in unfair trials where the evidence is not disclosed to the detainee or their lawyer;

· Denied the right to appeal when the certificate is upheld in a process that uses the lowest standard of proof of any court in Canada;

· Subject to deportation even when they face unfair imprisonment, torture or death.


We believe that the Security Certificate process is undemocratic and that it violates fundamental human rights, which the government of Canada has committed itself to through the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Convention on Refugees, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the UN Convention on Torture.


Accordingly, we demand that the Security Certificate process be abolished.


For those currently imprisoned under security certificates, we demand:

· That they be released immediately; or, if any case against them actually exists, that they be allowed to defend themselves in open, fair and independent trials with full disclosure of the case against them.

· That they not be deported.