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Report May Help Torture Appeal

Posted Aug 10, 2007 8:25 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Previously classified information suggests that U.S. intelligence officials sent Maher Arar to Syria, where he was tortured and jailed, even though neither the FBI nor Canadian officials were convinced the Syrian-born Canadian was a significant threat.

The Canadian report says the CIA was involved in the decision to deport Arar. Canadian intelligence officials suspected he was being sent to Syria so he could be questioned using techniques not allowed in the United States, the New York Sun reports.

Newly released sections of the report, made public by a Canadian court order, may help Arar’s lawsuit against the U.S. government, his lawyer told the New York Times.

“The CIA involvement shows this was no immigration removal, this was rendition,” said Maria LaHood, a lawyer from the Center for Constitutional Rights.

A federal judge dismissed Arar’s suit last year. A pending appeal seeks to hold government officials liable for overseas constitutional violations and for aiding torture that occurs abroad, the Post says.

How Appealing offers Canadian coverage of the report and links to some portions.

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