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Mahjoub marks 14 years of being jailed without charge in Canada

June 28, 2014

Toronto -- A Toronto father of two and refugee from Egypt, Mohammad Mahjoub is marking 14 years of his detention without charge in Toronto today. Mr. Mahjoub is held under a ‘security certificate’, a highly criticized part of the immigration law that allows the government to detain without charge, jail, and deport migrants on the basis of ‘secret’ information.

“14 years, over a quarter of my life, has been taken away from me. I am cut off from my kids here, and my family in Egypt, I am in limbo,” says Mr. Mahjoub, from his Toronto home.

“I am losing faith in the courts, in the government, in justice in this country,” he added.

The Federal Court of Canada ruled in November 2013 that the the bulk of the allegations that security officials have used to keep Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub in immigration detention for 14 years are in fact entirely unsubstantiated. In particular, it found that the government failed to establish that Mohammad was engaged in subversion or terrorism, even on the extremely low threshold of the security certificate process. Despite this, and after ruling that Mr Mahjoub’s rights to a fair trial were violated, Mr Mahjoub’s security certificate was upheld. This decision is now being appealed.

“The Federal Court of Canada basically kicked the ball up to the Federal Court of Appeal. It seems as if Judge Blanchard preferred to keep Mr. Mahjoub in limbo, and pass his fate on to someone else rather than make the right decision,” says Victoria Barnett, organizer with the Justice for Mahjoub Campaign. “The security certificate process is a bad law, its a wrong political decision, and it requires a political solution. The government of Canada needs to free Mr Mahjoub rather than letting this drag on any longer.”

Mr. Mahjoub’s life is at risk if he is deported to Egypt. His brothers were jailed in Egypt for eight years without charge, based on information shared by CSIS with Mubarak’s regime in Egypt.

He is currently living under strict house arrest conditions, including a ban on communicating over the internet, as well as no cellphone use even though it has been approved by the court, CBSA refuses to let him use one until today.

“Immigration law has been used to run Mr Mahjoub into the ground. His life, his body and his spirit have been traumatized by his unjust incarceration. This endless detention is part of an immigration system designed to exclude and target racialized people, and in this case particularly Muslim men. It is unjust, unfair, and it must end,” added Mary Foster, also from the Justice for Mahjoub Campaign.


For more information contact:
Victoria Barnett
Justice for Mahjoub Campaign
Phone: 416-721-3471

Mary Foster
Phone: 514-222-0205

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