Friday, October 27, 2006

Choudhury and persecution closer to home

Another article giving the background to the upcoming trial in Bangladesh of Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury though with a fascinating comparison with a big media story in Canada. The latter concerns Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen accused by the Canadian police of collusion with Al-Queda, arrested by the Americans in New York, who then deported him to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured. After a long campaign conducted by his wife in Canada, he was able to return to her and his daughter 374 days after his deportation to Syria. More pressure resulted in an a commission of enquiry which concluded that there was no evidence at all of connections on the part of Arar with any terrorism.

The O'Connor Commission concluded that the RCMP passed false information on to US authorities. They did more than that. When Arar returned to Canada they started feeding the press totally false information to besmear his reputation, information which was dutifully printed and largely fulfilled its purpose.
The other interesting feature is the deportation. The American Government deny that this was a case of Extraordinary Rendition, though many seem to find this unbelieveable. I don't. Perhaps I am naive. Why would the Americans use Syria of all countries to extract information about terrorism? Would they use Iran, as well?

Is this a case of us in the West shooting ourselves in the foot because of the fear of terrorism? It certainly looks like it.

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