Canadian Government Apologizes to Citizens Tortured in Syria

AFP PHOTO / JAMES LAWLER DUGGAN

The Canadian government officially apologized to three of its citizens on Friday, who were tortured in Syria and Canadian officials had allegedly played an indirect role in. According to a statement issued by the government, it has settled civil suits with three Canadian nationals who were arrested and tortured in Syrian custody just after the 9/11 attacks and detained until 2004. The three individuals include Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou Elmaati and Muayyed Nureddin.

Public safety minister, Ralph Goodale, and the foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, read a statement that said “on behalf of the Government of Canada, we wish to apologize to Mr. Almalki, Mr. Abou-Elmaati and Mr. Nureddin, and their families, for any role Canadian officials may have played in relation to their detention and mistreatment abroad and any resulting harm.” The statement carefully refrained from going into the details of the agreement reached. However, Amnesty International welcomed the news and revealed that the settlement included financial compensation. The trio was released from custody without any charges in 2004 and thereafter, they sued the Canadian government for damages.

CBC recently revealed some documents in September that insinuated that Canadian officials were involved in providing Syrian officials questions they asked the men who were detained and tortured. Canadian ministers’ statement concluded that “we hope the steps taken today will support them and their families in their efforts to begin a new and hopeful chapter in their lives.

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