From the Toronto Star
It’s not surprising that Maher Arar travelled with some trepidation from Toronto to Brussels early this morning.
The 35-year-old Ottawa telecommunications engineer had his flight plan rerouted in 2002 by American authorities who believed he was a terrorism suspect, becoming one of the most famous victims of the controversial practice of rendition, in which detainees are transferred for interrogation to a country known to use torture.
Instead of allowing him to return to Canada from a family vacation abroad, U.S. authorities detained Arar during a stopover in New York and put him on a private jet to Jordan. He was then driven to Syria, where he was tortured and held for a year without charges.
Arar said in an interview yesterday he felt he had to overcome his fears of flying and the possibility of still remaining on some type of watch list, so he could testify this week before a European Union committee. His Toronto lawyers, Marlys Edwardh and Lorne Waldman, made the trip with him.