Skip to main content

ACTION ALERT: Ruling on Mohammad Mahjoub's security certificate coming "late this week"

Posted in
Oct/23/2013 - 9:00 am

The Federal Court will render its final decision on Mohammad Mahjoub's case this week. The decision could come as early as Wednesday.

The court will announce whether or not it is upholding the "security certificate" that has kept Mr. Mahjoub in immigration detention on the basis of secret suspicions for more than 13 years. Mr. Mahjoub has been waiting for this ruling since December when the hearings on his case wrapped up.

However, the actual reasons for the decision will be withheld for another five days on "national security" grounds, while the government and 'special advocates' decide what to keep secret from Mr. Mahjoub and the public.

If the certificate is not found to be "reasonable", Mr. Mahjoub will walk free. If Justice Blanchard bows to political pressure and upholds the reasonability of the security certificate, Mr. Mahjoub would be forced to appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.

** Rally in support of (and with!) Mr. Mahjoub on the day of the decision at the Federal Court, 180 Queen Street. We won't know the exact time or day in advance, but will announce it as soon as we know by text, email, website, and facebook and will need all of you to help us get the word out. Please check frequently starting on Wednesday and prepare to send it on! | #MahjoubMustbeFree |

& if you want to join our text-alert, send your cell number to!

** MAHJOUB NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT: Please send messages and photos of support and solidarity for Mr. Mahjoub to We will be posting them at
** If you are not in Toronto, please plan a small action that you can organize quickly and email to keep us in the loop and receive updates.
** We only have a few days to spread the word! Please forward this email widely. If you are on Facebook, please like and share this story.


To get a sense of the outrageous violence and injustice that Mr. Mahjoub has suffered at the hands of Canadian authorities over the past 13 years, please read the backgrounder,

Mohammad Mahjoub came to Canada to seek asylum from the repressive Mubarak regime in 1995 and was accepted as a refugee the following year. Then, in June 2000, he was abruptly arrested. Since then, he has been held without charge and has never ceased fighting to clear his name: whether from Toronto's Metro West Detention Centre, where he spent almost six years including several in solitary confinement, in Guantanamo North in Kingstonfor a total of two years, or under house arrest. He has waged hungerstrikes from prison, spoken out on every occasion, and very actively engaged in his legal case.

The security certificate regime itself (part of immigration law) was found to be unconstitutional in 2007. Mr. Mahjoub and the four other Muslim detainees were forced to start their cases all over again under a slightly revised process.

Recent years and months have proven that, even on the inside, officials no longer believe in the case. Last year, media revealed that a 2008 internal review of Mr. Mahjoub's file concluded that, “the bulk of information” used against him was tainted by torture. And it came out in May that Bob Paulson, current head of the RCMP, told an internal government review in 2009 that the security certificate process was "... completely off the rails.” An earlier RCMP memo only recently released under the Privacy Act shows that RCMP never even suspected that Mr. Mahjoub was involved in any criminal activity in Canada.

Mr. Mahjoub's lawyers have argued that it is impossible for there to be any fair outcome in the case because of the many, fundamental abuses that have taken place, on top of the fundamentally unfair process. Mr. Mahjoub has therefore asked the court to throw out the certificate and grant him a fair remedy. Immense community support has bolstered his resolve. Early this year, many of his remaining conditions were lifted, leaving him very optimistic for the outcome of the case.