“Just acknowledge what happened to me.” So goes the plea from Hassan Almrei, the Syrian-Canadian held for eight years on a national security certificate before being released without charges last year. On Tuesday, Almrei announced he will sue the Canadian government for false imprisonment and negligence. “I need to know why all this happened,” he explained. Almrei is seeking damages from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the RCMP, Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency. But the real goal, says his lawyer Lorne Waldman, is to get the federal government to fess up to what it did: “I would have expected that there would have been some kind of soul-searching, and some kind of acknowledgment and recognition, that something went horribly wrong in this case. But the only thing that we’ve had so far is absolute silence.” Almrei arrived in Canada in 1991 on a fake passport; he was detained shortly after 9/11 and then arrested on suspicion of terrorism.