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CAUT Bulletin Archives

April 2001

Student Deported to Face Torture & Imprisonment

Canada's immigration services sent a Tunisian student to certain torture and imprisonment earlier this year despite warnings from Amnesty International and the Association for Human Rights in the Maghreb of the consequences of this deportation.

Laval University law student Haroun M'Barek was denied refugee status and deported Jan. 6. Amnesty International says the 33-year-old M'Barek was "snatched" from Laval University before completing his studies and expelled to Tunisia to face harsh torture and a 12-year prison sentence. M'Barek, leader of a student organization, was charged in absentia in 1996 with belonging to an "illegal" organization.

AI says it holds Canada responsible for "this terrible situation, which is the result of deficient analyses of the risks involved in deporting Mr. M'Barek."

CAUT has since learned that M'Barak has received an additional prison term and is in poor mental and physical health.

AI is asking Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley to intervene with the Tunisian government, through the Canadian embassy in Tunis, to ensure that M'Barek's conditions of detention are acceptable.