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News Release

NARCC Calls on Federal Government Accountability in Wake of Arar Report

September 20, 2006


(TORONTO) The National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC) commends Justice Dennis O'Connor for his detailed inquiry into Canada's role in Mr.Maher Arar's deportation by American authorities to Syria where he was tortured.

"The mistakes in the Arar case and specifically the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and government's efforts to discredit Mr. Arar after his return to Canada demonstrate a remarkably casual attitude towards the plight of a fellow Canadian. We cannot help but wonder whether his ethnicity, name and religion were a factor in commencing the investigation of Mr. Arar. And if so, does this not then reveal a deep-rooted case of racial profiling within the RCMP specifically and within our security institutions in general." said Mirlande Demers, Vice Chair of NARCC.

"The federal Government must act swiftly to hold those responsible for Mr. Arar's plight accountable for their careless and deliberate actions." Ms. Demers added.

"NARCC commends Mr. Arar and his spouse for their bravery in demanding that their name be cleared. As a result, the Arar inquiry highlights the potential problems faced by racialized group members in this post 9/11 security climate", said Estella Muyinda, Executive Director NARCC.

NARCC calls on the federal Government to implement the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry without fail. Swift action of the federal government will restore the confidence of racialized group members and all Canadians.

NARCC joins the Canadian Arab Federation in calling upon the federal Government to do the following:

1. Issue a definitive statement clearing Mr. Maher Arar and his family of any wrongdoing and compensate Mr. Maher Arar fairly;
2. Ensure that other victims identified in the Arar report also receive justice;
3. Move swiftly to invest in the development of policies, procedures and training to prevent Canadian security institutions from engaging in racial profiling; and
4. Develop a transparent oversight structure for our security institutions with the input of non-governmental organizations and racialized groups.

NARCC also urges all Canadians to continue to be vigilant in keeping a heightened awareness and to reject violations of human rights.

NARCC is a not-for-profit community based organization with over 120 members and 60 associates devoted to the elimination of racism and other forms of related discrimination in Canada.

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For further information please contact:
Estella Muyinda,
Executive Director, NARCC,
telephone number 416-979-3909 ext 2;
Email:estellamuyinda@narcc.ca


National Anti-Racism Council of Canada
215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 122
Toronto, Ontario M5T 2C7
Phone: 416-979-3909
Fax: 416-946-1983
e-mail:estellamuyinda@narcc.ca
Web site: www.narcc.ca


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