Terror suspects could be deported to countries that torture under House bill

The US House Judiciary Committee is considering an intelligence reform bill - the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act - that includes a controversial provision that would allow US authorities to deport non-US citizens suspected of having links to terrorist organizations, but who have not been tried on or convicted of any charges, to countries where they are likely to be tortured or abused, contrary to the provisions of the UN Convention Against Torture. Several sections of Chapter 2 of the bill dealing with "Deportation of Terrorists and Supporters of Terrorism" authorize deportation to "any country whose government will accept the alien into that country."

A US Department of Justice spokesman has declined to comment on the provision, but said "we support those provisions that will better secure our borders and protect the American people from terrorists." The US Senate is currently debating its own Intelligence Reform Bill (S 2845), which does not include the provision. Thursday's Washington Post has more. The DOJ has drawn international criticism for its 2002 approval of the expedited removal of Syrian-born Canadian citizen Maher Arar to Syria when he was suspected of terrorist ties. Arar, who is currently suing the Justice Department, alleges that he was tortured during his subsequent 375-day captivity. From Canada, CBC News has background on the Arar case.

 

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