No one is illegal

No-One Is Illegal (NOII)

No-One Is Illegal (NOII) advocates, educates, and raises funds to address immgration and refugee issues in Canada. We act in solidarity with groups across the country who provide hands-on support to people unfairly impacted by Canada’s immigration and security legislation. Some of our efforts include lobbying for fair trials and status for all, letter writing, fundraising events (such as spoken word, film nights, panel discussions), non violent direct action (i.e. street theatre and popular education), and networking with individuals and groups across Canada.

Campaign to stop the use of secret evidence

Did you know that the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act gives the state the power to arrest Canadian visitors, refugees, and permanent residents on a “security certificate”, detain them indefinitely with no criminal charges being laid, deny them and their lawyers access to the full evidence being used against them, and deport them to countries where they may be tortured – with no opportunity for appeal?

There has been increasing concern that this practice breaches International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Convention Against Torture. Critics of the current security certificate system include Warren Allmand, former Solicitor-General of Canada; Flora MacDonald, former Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada; numerous artists and activists (e.g., Denys Arcand, Maude Barlow, Bruce Cockburn, Naomi Klein, David Suzuki); the Canadian Bar Association; the Canadian Criminal Lawyers’ Association; Amnesty International; Human Rights Watch; the Canadian Council for Refugees; labour organizations and unions; and the United Nations.

In 2004, VIPIRG’s No One Is Illegal committee organized a campaign opposing the use of secret evidence.

Petition to the House of Commons [PDF]

Poster: Canada’s use of secret evidence – Why should you care? [PDF]

Postcards: Show us the evidence! [PDF]

March 2005: Costumed political prisoners mail hundreds of postcards at CIC [PDF]

Current Canadian security certificates

  • Hassan Almrei (Toronto): Detained since October 2001. In March 2005 he was granted a stay of removal to Syria after it was determined that an initial assessment claiming he was not at risk of torture was rife with errors.
  • Adil Charkaoui (Montreal): Detained in May 2003, but released under bail conditions including electronic monitoring in February 2005. The Federal Court continues to review his certificate. If upheld, he faces deportation to Morocco where he is at risk for torture.
  • Mohamed Harkat (Ottawa). Detained from December 2002 to June 2006. Harkat is currently on bail under 24-hour supervision, and must wear an electronic monitoring device. He was ordered deported to Algeria, where he faces risk of torture, in July 2006. He will be allowed to remain in Canada until the Supreme Court of Canada rules on a constitutional challenge to the security certificate process.
  • Mahmoud Jaballah (Toronto): Detained on security certificates in 1999 (quashed eight months later by the Federal Court) and again in 2001 (upheld). Faces deportation to Egypt where he is at risk of torture.
  • Mohammad Zeki Mahjoub (Toronto): Detained since June 2000. He was ordered to be deported in July 2003. In February 2005, the Federal Court granted a stay of removal to Egypt on the grounds that he faced torture.


Security certificates and secret trials

Other chapters of NOII