Maher Arar Now Publisher of Prism Magazine on National Security and Human Rights
Arar has become a very well-known Canadian, as he was a victim of the policy known as extraordinary rendition.
Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen falsely accused of ties to Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, was detained by U.S. authorities at a New York airport in 2002 and deported to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured.
A federal judicial inquiry found that the RCMP mislabelled him as an extremist with ties to al-Qaida. It also concluded the misinformation was shared with U.S. authorities likely leading them to deport him. The inquiry cleared Arar of any association with terrorism.
The Canadian government apologized to Arar and awarded him a $10.5-million legal settlement in 2007.
In the Ottawa Magazine interview (p. 15), Arar explains some of the thinking behind the magazine, which was launched at the beginning of the year:
"I've noticed, through my experiences, that reporters, in their rush to report on national security cases ... tend to cover the issues very quickly. They don't give them enough thought. In the process, reputations get damaged. I thought. Why not create something to give a model?"Contributors come from the worlds of law, journalism, diplomacy and academia.