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BCCLA Renews Calls for Reform after Federal Court Decision To Refuse Protection to Man at Risk of Torture

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The BC Civil Liberties Association is calling upon the federal government to  immediately amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in  light of the decision yesterday of the Federal Court in Jaballah v. Canada.

Mr. Jaballah has been detained since 2001 under the Security Certificate  provisions of the IRPA. These provisions permit the federal government to  detain those it considers a danger to the security of Canada without basic due  process protections. These provisions permit the government to use secret  evidence and deport individuals in spite of a risk of torture.

BCCLA President Jason Gratl: “Our Association is on record calling for major  reform of the Security Certificate process to bring it into compliance with  Charter protections and Canada’s obligations to oppose the use of torture in all contexts. This decision only underscores the urgent need for such reform.  We expect to be at the Supreme Court of Canada in June as intervenors in a  case testing the constitutionality of Security Certificates. In the meantime,  we urge the Canadian government to move to shut the door permanently and  unequivocally to ever deporting prisoners to torture.”

In yesterday’s decision, Mr. Justice MacKay of the Federal Court ruled that the  decision by the federal government that Mr. Jaballah is not in need of protection  because of evidence that he constitutes a risk to the security of Canada to be  reasonable. Neither Mr. Jaballah’s lawyers, nor independent lawyers, have  access to this evidence and are effectively unable to challenge it. Justice  MacKay made his decision in spite of the fact that the federal government  itself has determined that Mr. Jaballah would face torture and death if deported to his native Egypt.