'No reason to be any less vocal'

Adam Radwanski considers the curious case of Abousfian Abdelrazik.

Either we support civil liberties, or we don’t. It would be nice if we only had to defend people we already knew to be perfectly upstanding, law-abiding citizens, but those aren’t the people whose civil liberties need to be defended. It’s in the treatment of people about whom there are lingering doubts that a nation’s real respect for rights is tested.

I’d say that actively blocking a Canadian citizen from re-entering the country, when there are no charges against him and he’s been publicly cleared by both CSIS and the RCMP, would suggest we’re failing that test mightily. Fear of backing up a “bad guy,” the words security officials used to whisper about Arar, shouldn’t lead the rest of us to stand meekly by.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.