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News Release

NARCC Congratulates Mr. Arar and his Family on his settlement against the Federal Government

January 26, 2007

(TORONTO) The National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC) commends Maher Arar on settling his lawsuit against the federal government for its role in his torture in Syria.

The mistakes by the Canadian and U.S. government in the Arar case are well documented. "It is therefore appropriate for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to issue a formal apology on behalf of the Government of Canada to Maher Arar and his family for the nightmare that was inflicted upon them. Mirlande Demers, Vice-Chair of NARCC said today.

"The efforts of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and federal government to discredit Mr. Arar after his return to Canada demonstrated a remarkably casual attitude towards the plight of a fellow Canadian. It would be more meaningful if the government ensured that Mr. Arar and his family name is fully cleared", she added.

NARCC and other equality-seeking groups remain concerned about racial profiling within our security institutions and the RCMP. "Justice O'Connor's inquiry highlights the potential problems faced by racialized group members in this post 9/11 security climate," Colleen Hua, NARCC Board member and National President of the Chinese Canadian National Council added. "The federal Government must act swiftly to hold those individuals responsible for Mr. Arar's plight accountable for their careless and deliberate actions".

NARCC calls on the federal Government to implement all of the recommendations of the O'Connor Inquiry, and to act immediately to:
1. Ensure that other victims identified in the Arar report also receive justice;
2. Invest in the development of policies, procedures and training to prevent our security institutions from engaging in racial profiling; and
3. Develop a transparent oversight structure for our security institutions with the input of non-governmental organizations and racialized groups.

Swift action of the federal government will restore the confidence of racialized group members and all Canadians. 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.


For further information please contact:
Estella Muyinda,
Executive Director, NARCC,
telephone number 416-979-3909 ext 2;

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