Photo © Bud Schultz
Maher Arar suffered torture as a result of the U.S. extraordinary rendition program. An apology is long overdue.
On May 21, 2012, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) joined Amnesty International USA and the Center for Constitutional to deliver to the White House over 60,000 petition signatures asking President Obama to extend a formal apology to Maher Arar.
"An Apology the United States Must Make" by Rev. Richard Killmer, NRCAT's Executive Director, and Suzanne Nossel, Executive Director of Amnesty International, USA.
"An Apology to Maher Arar -- Moving Beyond the Season of Fear" by Rev. Richard Killmer, NRCAT's Executive Director, on Huffington Post
Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, was traveling home to Canada from visiting relatives in Tunisia in 2002. While changing planes at New York City's JFK airport, he was detained by U.S. authorities and then transferred secretly to Syria, where he was held for a year and tortured.
"It was so painful," Maher Arar said of the beatings he endured, "that I forgot every enjoyable moment in my life."
NRCAT’s DVD featuring religious perspectives on the need for accountability for the use of torture.
Released without charge and allowed to return home to Canada, Maher Arar received an apology and compensation from the Canadian government for its role in his treatment. But the U.S. government has failed to apologize or offer Maher Arar any form of remedy - despite its obligation to do so under the UN Convention Against Torture and other human rights treaties. (Read more details about Arar’s case.)
NRCAT joins with Amnesty International and other organizations in calling upon President Obama and Congress to issue a formal apology to Maher Arar and to ensure that the treatment he suffered will never again be inflicted on anyone else.
Torture is immoral and illegal.