Thursday, September 01, 2005

Canadian Secret Trial Detainees On Hunger Strike

Two men held in Toronto in solitary confinement, without charge, based on secret evidence, are into days 71 and 57 of hunger strikes, respectively, to demand minimally decent treatment at the hands of the Canadian state.

Here is an update received today from the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada:

HUNGER STRIKE UPDATE -- September 1, 2005

Secret trial Detainee Hassan Almrei is now on day 71 of his hunger-strike. After almost four years in solitary confinement without charge, held on secret evidence, all Almrei is currently asking for is the same conditions as federal prisoners: one hour outside his cell per day; the right to wear normal clothes instead of an orange jumpsuit; radio and tv. Things that would make it slightly easier for him as he awaits the conclusion of lengthy legal processes which will determine the legality of indefinite detention, deportation to torture, and denial of bail. Hassan is in constant pain. He cannot lie down because his ribs are so sore. He does not have the strength to stand or walk. He is afraid to sleep now for fear he will not wake up. His body, like his life, is rapidly running out of options. He is heartened by the outpouring of support from Canadians across this country.

Secret trial detainee Mohammad Mahjoub is on day 57 of a hunger strike, also demanding minimally decent conditions of detention, including contact visits with his two young children, as he awaits numerous court decisions similar to Hassan's. He is weak and has lost a great deal of weight, but wants Canadians to know how much he appreciates their support.

Both men are held under the secret trial security certificate at Metro West Detention Centre in Toronto.

Although hundreds of calls have been made, hundreds of letters and faxes written, demonstrations have taken place in Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and in Toronto (scheduled for 4 pm Saturday at Metro West), nothing has been done by the authorities who could so easily make the decision to provide the prisoners with their simple and fully justified demands.

Before the long weekend gets underway, please CALL AND WRITE to the appropriate ministers, and demand that they takes steps toward the kind of solution that will enable these men to end their hunger strikes. Each claims that the other is responsible, so best to contact BOTH.

In Ontario, it is Monte Kwinter, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services 18th floor, 25 Grosvenor Street Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y6 Phone: (416) 325-0408 Fax: (416) 325-6067

In Ottawa, Anne McLellan, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency
Preparedness Sir Wilfred Laurier Blvd. 13th Floor 340 Laurier Ave. Ottawa, ON K1A 0P8 Phone: (613) 992-4524 Fax: (613) 943-0044 or


Please cc: The Campaign to Stop Secret Trials, PO Box 73620, 509 St. Clair Ave. West, Toronto, ON M6C 1C0, (416) 651-5800,

Please take a few minutes to contact the ministers responsible and voice your support Almrei and Mahjoub. For more information on the issue of secret trials, please see the Campaign's web site.

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