Mohammad Mahjoub, Longest Held of Canada's Secret Trial Detainees, to be Returned to His Family
On Day 83 of his hunger strike, good news finally arrives.
On Day 83 of his hunger strike, secret trial detainee Mohammad Mahjoub has finally received the news he has been waiting for since June, 26, 2000, when he was arrested on a secret trial security certificate. Federal Court judge Richard Mosley has ordered Mahjoub released, under strict house arrest conditions, to his family.
"The applicant today is an ailing and aging man preoccupied with his health and the lack of contact with his family apart from telephone calls and occasional visits," Mosley found, acknowledging the tremendous toll detention has taken on Mahjoub. "The conditions of his detention have exacerbated that problem."
Significantly, Judge Mosley also found that "his detention might reasonably be described as indefinite."
Mosley also found that Mahjoub, "at this stage of his life and with the interests of his family and health at stake, he has simply too much to lose should he be released and violate the terms and conditions." Friends and community supporters have pledged over $100,000 in cash and performance bonds to secure his release.
(Full text of the decision available at http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/DES-1-00.pdf
Reached at Guantanamo North in Kingston (also known as the Kingston Immigration Holding Centre), an exhausted Mahjoub breathed a huge sigh of relief and asked that the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada express his most sincere thanks for all people across Canada and around the world who have stood up not only for his rights, but for all those subject to security certificates.
Mr. Mahjoub will remain behind bars until all the terms and conditions of his transfer home are finalized with the Federal Court. His wife, Mona Elfouli, and two young children, Ibrahim and Yusuf, anxiously await his return.
The terms and conditions of Mahjoub's transfer home are similar to those that saw secret trial detainee Mohamed Harkat returned to his family in June, 2006: electronic bracelet for round-the-clock monitoring, prior approval from Canadian Border Services Agency for all visitors to the house, being allowed out three times a week, with prior approval, for up to four hours at a time, among many others.
The decision comes in the midst of a devastating hunger strike protesting conditions of detention in Kingston. Mahmoud Jaballah, whose bail hearing concluded on Tuesday, expects a decision within the month, while Hassan Almrei anxiously awaits word from the Supreme Court of Canada, which heard his challenge to the bail provisions of the security certificate in June, 2006.
All three men, in addition to Harkat and Adil Charkaoui, who was released on strict bail in February 2005, still have a major struggle ahead of them as they fight deportation to torture in Syria, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco. Mr. Charkaoui has yet to have his security certificate hearing as well.
And sadly, the hunger strike at Guantanamo North continues with no end in sight, so we ask that people continue calling the ministers (Stockwell Day) and Stephen Harper urging that a solution be reached as soon as possible. For further info on the hunger strike see http://www.homesnotbombs.ca/gitmonorthstrike.htm
Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org