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Fri Mar 17, 2021

News release
For immediate release March 17, 2021
Maher Arar to board flight to Brussels Monday
Ottawa On Monday night, March 20, Maher Arar will board a flight to Brussels. This will be his first flight since his release from Syrian prison and return to Canada almost two and a half years ago.
Mr. Arar has been invited to testify on Thursday, March 23 at public hearings convened by the European Parliament's Temporary Committee on the Transportation and Illegal Detention of Prisoners.
The decision to accept the invitation and board an international flight has been a difficult one for Mr. Arar, but he says that the Committee's work is important and he will take the risk.
"I am very nervous, given my experience, about boarding any flight," said Mr. Arar. I am afraid I could be detained in Canada, or en-route, especially if the plane is re-routed for any reason. Given what happened to me, anything seems possible, especially as we still dont know why this happened to me," he said.
"Given the very important work the European Parliament's Committee is doing to investigate cases like mine, I have decided it is my responsibility to attend and assist them in any way I can," he said. "I have always said that I do not want what happened to me to happen to anyone else, and assisting this committee is one more way I can help ensure that," he added.
Mr. Arar's lawyers have written to Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister McKay, formally advising them of Mr. Arar's travel itinerary.
"We of course understand that it is impossible for the government of Canada to guarantee Mr. Arar's safety once he leaves the country, but we do hope that the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs will take note of our correspondence, and given the history of Mr. Arar's case, be attentive and ready to respond quickly should any problems arise," said Marlys Edwardh.
The lawyers wrote to Foreign Minister Peter McKay on March 6 to ask him to contact Belgian authorities to ensure they have no objection to Mr. Arar's visit. On March 14 a legal advisor from the Department of Foreign Affairs responded, saying a diplomatic note had been sent to Belgian authorities to inform them of Mr. Arar's plans, but Canada could not ensure his safety once he left the country.
The lawyers have also contacted the Belgian Ambassador to Canada, who has provided support and assistance to ensure a safe and productive trip.
Mr. Arar will be accompanied throughout his trip by his lawyers, and will fly home to Canada on Friday, March 24.

30
For more information, contact Dayanti Karunaratne at (613) 261-1454



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Maher Arar to board flight to Brussels Monday
Fri Mar 17, 2021

News release
For immediate release March 17, 2021
Maher Arar to board flight to Brussels Monday
Ottawa On Monday night, March 20, Maher Arar will board a flight to Brussels. This will be his first flight since his release from Syrian prison and return to Canada almost two and a half years ago.
Mr. Arar has been invited to testify on Thursday, March 23 at public hearings convened by the European Parliament's Temporary Committee on the Transportation and Illegal Detention of Prisoners.
The decision to accept the invitation and board an international flight has been a difficult one for Mr. Arar, but he says that the Committee's work is important and he will take the risk.
"I am very nervous, given my experience, about boarding any flight," said Mr. Arar. I am afraid I could be detained in Canada, or en-route, especially if the plane is re-routed for any reason. Given what happened to me, anything seems possible, especially as we still dont know why this happened to me," he said.
"Given the very important work the European Parliament's Committee is doing to investigate cases like mine, I have decided it is my responsibility to attend and assist them in any way I can," he said. "I have always said that I do not want what happened to me to happen to anyone else, and assisting this committee is one more way I can help ensure that," he added.
Mr. Arar's lawyers have written to Prime Minister Harper and Foreign Minister McKay, formally advising them of Mr. Arar's travel itinerary.
"We of course understand that it is impossible for the government of Canada to guarantee Mr. Arar's safety once he leaves the country, but we do hope that the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs will take note of our correspondence, and given the history of Mr. Arar's case, be attentive and ready to respond quickly should any problems arise," said Marlys Edwardh.
The lawyers wrote to Foreign Minister Peter McKay on March 6 to ask him to contact Belgian authorities to ensure they have no objection to Mr. Arar's visit. On March 14 a legal advisor from the Department of Foreign Affairs responded, saying a diplomatic note had been sent to Belgian authorities to inform them of Mr. Arar's plans, but Canada could not ensure his safety once he left the country.
The lawyers have also contacted the Belgian Ambassador to Canada, who has provided support and assistance to ensure a safe and productive trip.
Mr. Arar will be accompanied throughout his trip by his lawyers, and will fly home to Canada on Friday, March 24.

30
For more information, contact Dayanti Karunaratne at (613) 261-1454



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