A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|homes not bombs needs your help|
|08/07/02 at 11:33:10|
|Security Certificate Target Could be Released on Bail in Precedent-Setting|
Move--We need your help!
Homes not Bombs is collecting cash bail as part of the $50,000 surety bail
and the $10,000 cash bail which is required to free on bail Muhammad
Mahjoub, an unjustly imprisoned man who has been behind bars, much of it in
punitive solitary confinement, since June, 2000. Mr. Mahjoub, along with
the similarly incarcerated Mahmoud Jaballah, was a focus of the recent Walk
to End Racism, Repression and War from Hamilton to Scarborough.
Mr. Mahjoub, married to a Canadian citizen and the father of two
Canadian-born children, was a victim of torture and state persecution in
Egypt. At his refugee hearing (where refugee status was granted), it was
obvious he would be tortured and killed if returned to Egypt. He has never
been charged or convicted of any crime, nor has he been accused of engaging
in violence. He has never been the subject of an extradition request, and
is currently the focus of a European support campaign by Amnesty
International. The Canadian government is holding him on a security
certificate, but he and his lawyer are not allowed to see the evidence
During the walk many of us had the privilege of meeting with and discussing
this case with Mrs. Mahjoub, who conveyed how incredibly difficult these
last years have been for the whole family.
Like numerous others in Canada and abroad, Mr. Mahjoub appears to be the
victim of a flimsy guilt by alleged association allegation, and is behind
bars more due to the racism of this country and its "security services"
than because of any threat he might pose.
If we could get Mahjoub released to his family, it would be a significant
setback for CSIS and the security certificate process, under which
individuals who are not citizens in this country (but who may be trying to
obtain refugee or landed immigrant status) are arrested, jailed, held
without bail, and not allowed to see the case against them--essentially a
secret trial that violates that most basic of judicial tenets, that you
should be allowed to know why you are being brought before a court and to
have a fair, OPEN trial.
(CSIS also relies on the easy demonization of folks who are Muslim or share
Middle Eastern or Arabic heritage--if the "suspect" is in jail during
judicial proceedings, this simply adds to the aura of "danger" with which
CSIS likes to paint its targets. CSIS oversight committee reports note that
CSIS often exaggerates the nature of alleged threats, relies on poor
sources of information, often fails to do its homework, relies on
informants' "feelings" rather than facts, fails to report facts which
contradict the CSIS case, and often uses "evidence" that is over a decade
old. Just check this week's headlines about CSIS' abominable behaviour in
"disappearing" a Canadian citizen into the U.S. military's penal system).
Just as important, release on bail would restore some much-needed health
and dignity to someone who has been mistreated for over two years, and put
a halt to the tears of two little children and a woman who sorely miss
their father and husband.
HOW TO HELP
1. Forward this appeal far and wide.
2. It appears we might have the $50,000 surety bail covered for now, but
not the cash bail. Cheques, with a notation for Mahjoub bail (or a separate
note indicating this if you prefer not to have this on the cheque) can be
made out to Homes not Bombs and sent to PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave.
West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. If you can tell us how much you will be sending
via e-mail, we can front some of that money to get Mahjoub out faster and
await your cheque via snail mail. Perhaps approaching a church or student
or union group would be a good idea too.
3. The bail money acts as a kind of low-risk loan to guarantee Mahjoub's
release. In terms of risk, the money could be forfeited if Mahjoub breaks
his conditions of bail or flees Canada. This is highly unlikely, given the
hell he has been through to get to this stage and his acceptance as a
refugee in this country and the fact that he has firmly established family
here. The money is returned once the legal wrangling is completed (which
could be a year or more). Homes not Bombs will keep tabs of who donates
money and, when the bail money is returned, your contribution will be
returned as well.
4. To date, we have raised pledges of almost $3,000 without issuing a broad
appeal. 70 folks committing $100 each, or 35 folks pledging $200, or a
whole bunch pledging a variety of amounts that they can afford will help
break one part of the security hysteria which holds so many behind the bars
of racism and prison. Please help if you can. Any monies received above and
beyond the $10,000 will be immediately returned to those donors.
For more info: Homes not Bombs, PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West,
Toronto, ON M6C 1C0. (416) 651-5800.
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board