In September 2002, Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen, who had been living in Canada since 1987 was returning from a holiday in Tunisia via New York’s Kennedy airport. He was detained at JFK airport and and accused of having links with Al Qaeda and was arrested and detained for 13 days.
On 8 October 2002 Maher Arar was served with an expulsion order issued by the Immigration Court and then handed over the CIA. He was then transferred to Jordan on a private Gulfstream jet (which went via Rome, Italy). Maher Arar was then transferred into Syrian custody and held in a Damascus prison under the control of the Syrian security services.
Maher Arar was then tortured for a year, physical and psychological torture.
He was later released without any charge against him. He is now living in free in Canada.
On 5 February 2004 the Canadian Government set up a commission of inquiry , chaired
by Justice O’Connor to investigate the actions of Canadian officials in the Arar cas. In October the same year the O’Connor Commission confirmed that Arar had been tortured in Syria