Help Stop My Husband's Deportation to Torture

Help Stop My Husband's Deportation to Torture

November 4, 2018
Petition to
Marco Mendicino (Minister of Public Safety) and 2 others
Signatures: 72,667Next Goal: 75,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Matthew Behrens


I agree when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says: "No one ever deserves to be tortured."

So why is the Trudeau government trying to deport my husband, Mohamed (Moe) Harkat, to torture in Algeria? I have been married almost 20 years to this gentle, funny, hard-working man, someone who has never been accused – much less convicted of – committing a crime or act of violence. But in the Canadian racial and religious profiling sweeps that happened after 9/11, Moe was wrongfully targeted under a secretive, draconian process called a Security Certificate, which allowed hearings to take place in secret without him or his legal team allowed to be present.

Moe was never charged with anything. Yet he spent over a year in solitary confinement, and after three more years in jail without charge, was transferred to the strictest house arrest in Canadian history. Although most of those terrible conditions are now gone, the Canadian government refuses to admit that what it has done – and continues to do – is wrong.

An Illegal Deportation

It is illegal under Canadian and international law to deport someone to torture under ANY circumstances. A decision to end Moe's deportation to torture proceedings would be wholly consistent with: England's Special Immigration Appeals Commission, which settled this issue in 2016 when it ordered Theresa May to stop deporting Algerian nationals at risk of torture; the Irish Supreme Court,  which in 2017 and, again, in July, 2018, blocked a deportation to Algeria because of the real risk of torture; and the German Parliament’s upper chamber,  which in 2017 refused to designate Algeria a “safe country of origin”.

Holding this threat over Moe is a form of psychological torture as well. He calls it "this dark cloud hanging over our heads."

I see the results of that psychological torture in my beloved husband's eyes every morning, noon, and night. He is terrified of what will happen to him if he is deported: he has nightmares, he is depressed, he suffers from PTSD. The stress on both of us is unimaginable. Our health has suffered greatly. We cannot plan for our future knowing that any minute border agents will show up at our door and take Moe away. 

As for the so-called case against my husband? It is based completely on alleged guilt by association stretched so thin as to be almost invisible. All the original "evidence" has been destroyed by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). It also appears that information gleaned from torture is being illegally relied upon as well. But with a security certificate, anything can be used as “evidence” even if it is not normally admissible in a court of law. In other words, it is NOT a court of law.

A Baseless Case

The court relied on a CSIS informant who was having an affair with his CSIS agent handler, as well as an informant who failed a lie detector test. The judge hearing the secret case refused to allow either of these informants to be cross-examined, even in secret hearings that Moe and his lawyers could not attend. (In three other security certificate cases, the information provided by spy agency CSIS was shown to be unreliable and dishonest, and those individuals were finally allowed to go free after years of fighting the process. That same dishonesty would have been revealed had the informants in my husband's case been cross-examined).

I hope you will join me, Amnesty International, the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group, and thousands of people and organizations across this country who are demanding that the federal government put an end to this nightmare for our family. 

Stop Mohamed Harkat's deportation to torture, and allow him to become a permanent resident of Canada so he can finally, after 23 years of waiting, get on with his life. We have had enough of the fear, the uncertainty, as well as the harassment from Canadian Border Service Agency officers who continue to try and humiliate and frighten Moe and me at every opportunity.

In addition to signing this petition, you can also visit this link and a letter will be sent to the Prime Minister on your behalf.

Moe and I would like to thank the thousands of people across this country who believe in due process and who have spoken up, written letters, held vigils, and donated to our legal expenses. We trust that you will be able to help push the federal government to obey the law and end this nightmare.

Moe and I just want to move on with our lives and live a normal existence like everyone else. We appreciate you helping us with this goal. It's not too much to ask.

Thank you for your support. It means the world to Moe and me.

Sophie Harkat, Ottawa, ON


PS: Hear the words of Amnesty International and other supporters calling for an end to this deportation with this video:


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Signatures: 72,667Next Goal: 75,000
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