UN panel queries Canada over racial profiling

February 19, 2007 18:51

A United Nations anti-racism panel wants to know if Canada can ensure that it will avoid repeating the mistakes that led to the US deportation of a Syrian-born Canadian to Damascus, where he was tortured and imprisoned for nearly a year. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized last month for Ottawa's role in the ordeal of Maher Arar - one of the best-known cases of so-called "extraordinary rendition" in which the US transfers foreign terror suspects without court approval to third countries for interrogation. But the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has asked what steps Canada has taken since on new guidelines for information sharing and monitoring of security probes, so that forces "have clear policies and more training on issues of racial, religious and ethnic profiling." The committee - a panel of 18 independent experts overseeing compliance with the United Nations' 38-year-old anti-racism treaty - will hear Wednesday from Canadian officials as part of its quadrennial review.

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