Friday, March 17, 2006

Canada opens terror suspect prison Dubbed "Guantanamo Lite" and "Guantanamo North"

Posted by hollowentry to the comments section of "Yes. It's For Real. Brooklyn House of Detention Seen as a Jail With Retail":

30 Mar 2006** (Estimated date). Canada opens terror suspect prison
Dubbed "Guantanamo Lite" and "Guantanamo North"

KINGSTON, ONTARIO. 30 Mar 2006** (Estimated date). The high-security detention center is being built near Kingston to house foreign terrorism suspects. It has space for only six inmates, and is already attracting United Nations human rights attention.

Its initial occupants -- all Arabs -- are detained under the federal government's controversial security certificates. All are suspected of being allied to Islamic extremists, but none has been charged with a crime. The "Guantanamo" nickname was inevitable, though the United States Guantanamo prison is many times bigger and more controversial.

The certificates pertain only to non-citizens believed to pose a security threat. Canadians accused of terror-related offences must be charged under the Criminal Code.

After touring Canada in 2005, a United Nations human-rights group, said it was "gravely concerned" about the use of security certificates. The objections centered on the detainees' right to a fair hearing and their ability to challenge the evidence used to hold them, portions of which are often kept secret. Nor is there any mechanism for a judicial review of the circumstances of incarceration.

The four are: Algerian-born Mohamad Harkat, Syrian-born Hassan Almrei, Egyptian-born Mohammed Mahjoub and Mahmoud Jaballah. Adil Charkaoui of Morocco, who was held from May 2003 to Feb 2005, is free on bail in Montreal. All are resisting deportation on grounds that they fear persecution if sent home.

Prisoners will be kept separate from other inmates at all times; there will be absolutely no contact, according to a prison official quoted in Canada's Globe & Mail newspaper.

The self-contained unit is under construction behind the walls of maximum-security Millhaven Penitentiary, one of two facilities within the region that houses a maximum-security population.

Millhaven was opened prematurely in April 1971 as a result of the riot at Kingston Penitentiary, which Millhaven was originally intended to replace. During the period 1977-1984, Millhaven operated a Special Handling Unit (SHU) along with its general maximum-security population. In 1990, it commenced its current dual role, housing a reception facility, as well as a general maximum-security population. Feb/06

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