On January 8, at a hearing into Canadian government involvement in torture abroad of three Canadian Muslims, Justice Department lawyer Michael Peirce, speaking for Foreign Affairs, the RCMP, and Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS), left everyone with raised eyebrows when he said that Canada can share information on people detained abroad, with governments that are accused of torture, in spite of the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
The hearing follows from a recommendation of the commission that issued the report on the treatment of Maher Arar, the Canadian rendered by the United States to Syria, where he was tortured. The present commission is looking into allegations of Canadian government complicity in the mistreatment of three other men, Muayyed Nureddin, Ahmad Abou El Maati, and Abdullah Almalki. Former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci is heading up the inquiry. Almalki, who was tortured in the same prison as Arar, commented that “It looks like they want to legalize torture, but not directly—indirectly.”