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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

US Judge Questions Lawyer on Suit by Tortured Canadian

Thank you for continuing to follow the case of Mr Arar (U.S. Judge Questions Lawyer On Suit by Tortured Canadian, New York Times, November 10, 2007: A5).

Once again the US government is trying to evade its responsibility for what happened to Mr Arar who was arrested while changing planes at Kennedy airport and suffered extraordinary rendition to Syria where he was tortured.

As well as trying to hide behind the States Secret defense, the Government is now said to be arguing that Constitutional protections do not apply to Mr Arar because "the Constitution did not apply to noncitizens who suffered injury abroad."

I am no lawyer, but surely this is a specious defense. The first injury that Mr. Arar suffered was his arrest at Kennedy Airport. That surely is US territory so surely the Constitution applies?

I would call upon the US to do as Canada did and give Mr. Arar his day in court. In addition, at some point the US Supreme Court should take upon itself a review of the States Secrets defense. It was created illegitimately and needs thorough judicial review.

Sent to New York Times

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