[JURIST] Lawyers for Canadian citizen Maher Arar [advocacy website; JURIST news archive] argued before a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that Arar should be allowed to revive his lawsuit against senior officials in the US government. Arar was detained in the US in 2002 after flying to New York from Tunisia on his way home to Canada and was later deported to Syria, where he was tortured. Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights argued [press release] that Arar should be able to challenge the US government's policy of extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] in court. Arar did not appear in person as he is still listed on the US no-fly list, despite having been cleared by Canadian authorities. CBC News has more.
Last month, US lawmakers apologized [JURIST report] to Arar during a joint hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee [official website]. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice testified [recorded video] in front of the same committee that Arar's rendition was not "handled as it should have been," but stopped short of apologizing. Rice added that the US government has told the Canadian government that it will "try to do better in the future." That was the first time that the US government has admitted any mistakes in its handling of Arar's case. In January, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized to Arar [JURIST report] on behalf of the Canadian government.