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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Maher Arar Endorses Paul Dewar For NDP Leader

Maher Arar Endorses Paul Dewar For NDP Leader
January 25th, 2012

OTTAWA – Today, Paul Dewar received another endorsement from a prominent human rights leader in his bid for the NDP leadership.

"I fully endorse Paul to be the next leader of the New Democratic Party," said Maher Arar. "Paul's knowledge of foreign policy, his involvement in supporting human rights causes in Canada and abroad have allowed him to grasp many of the complex issues that Canada and the rest of the world are facing today. I can easily picture Paul as the next Prime Minister of Canada."

In 2002, Arar, a Canadian of Syrian origin, was deported from the US to Syria where he faced devastating torture and imprisonment. Years later, the O'Connor Commission found that Arar had been the innocent victim of flawed intelligence and government smears.

"Like many Canadians, I was shocked and deeply disturbed by the treatment of Maher Arar during those terrifying months he spent in Syria,” said Dewar. “As Prime Minister, I promise to stand up and fight for the rights of all Canadians, regardless of religion, colour of skin, or country of birth”.

Arar adds his name to an impressive list of human rights leaders backing Dewar for NDP leader. Earlier in the campaign, Dewar obtained the support of human rights lawyers Amir Attaran and Paul Champ.

He has also obtained the backing of the eight former staff from Rights and Democracy who stated: "We are impressed by Paul’s deep commitment to social justice, his drive to be fair and yet forceful, and his charismatic personality. As Quebecers, we cherish his commitment to Quebecois values of justice, rule of law, respect for human rights and diversity, and of course his deep respect for Quebec’s unique place in Canada."

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