Wahid Khalil Baroud
|Wahid Khalil Baroud|
|Arrested||June 6, 1994
|Detained at||Don Jail, Toronto
Toronto West Detention Centre
An alleged member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Wahid Khalil Baroud (وحيد خليل بارود) was arrested in Mississauga, Ontario in 1994 after it was claimed that he served as a bodyguard to Yasser Arafat.
Immigration to Canada
In 1991, Baroud took his wife and three children to Greece, before flying into Pearson International Airport with forged Egyptian passports, and applying for Canadian residency. The family, which would grow with the births in Canada of two more children, claimed to be Israeli, but Baroud acknowledged his time in Fatah, noting that he had never been involved in any terrorism. He claimed to be defecting because he refused to follow an order to travel to Saudi Arabia's border with Iraqi-controlled Kuwait, where some allege he had been ordered to be killed by the PLO authorities. He stated that, as a Palestinian, he refused to be a party to another occupying power like Saddam Hussein.
He was held in detention for 41 days before it was determined he was not a threat, and he was subsequently released.
|“||I am mindful of the fact the terms "terrorism" and "terrorist" are not defined in the Act. Counsel for the Ministers affirm in her written memorandum that "Like beauty, the image of a terrorist is, to some extent, in the eye of the beholder". While I accept this statement in general terms, it cannot prevent this court from examining whether, in the circumstances of this case, there are reasonable grounds...||”|
|— Judge Pierre Denault|
Three years later, after he ostensibly missed two immigration hearings which he claims to have never received notice of, a warrant was issued and he was declared a threat to national security under the auspice that he had served in Force 17 as a bodyguard to Arafat, and was stationed in Syria, Lebanon, Libya and Greece and engaged in terrorism. He was arrested on a security certificate signed by Immigration Minister Sergio Marchi and Solicitor General Herb Gray on June 6, 1994, but Federal Court of Canada judge Pierre Denault ruled that the government was wrong in suggesting it had evidence Baroud was involved in terrorism. Baroud argued that section 40.1 of the Immigration Act was unconstitutional and breached the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
When the courts nevertheless upheld his deportation, he sought leave to appeal to the Supreme Court claiming that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had tried to convince him to become an informant and turned against him when he refused, but was denied on June 15.
"Depressed and discouraged" at his long time spent in the Don Jail, Baroud agreed to voluntarily drop his appeals and allow himself to be removed from Canada and was subsequently moved to Toronto West Detention Centre.
His wife and three eldest children were granted refugee status in Canada. Since he was a stateless Palestinian, there was no country to which he could be safely deported, and his wife ended up acquiring an entry visa for him to Algeria, and he was put on a plane towards Algeria through Switzerland on July 5, but returned to Canada a week later after Algerian authorities refused to let him enter. It was later revealed that his Canadian escorts had taken him to Casablanca hoping to leave him in Morocco; but while they were themselves "mistakenly left behind" in the North African country, Baroud had simply booked himself a plane back to Canada. In December 1995, his wife secured a 9-month visa for him to the Sudan, and Canada put him on a plane towards the country - however, Sudan refused to accept him when they learned of the case.
He was forced to live in airports for eight months, shuttling between countries.
Some sources suggest he ended up in Syria. Baroud later flew to Romania where he lived in the airport for a number of months before finding his way to Switzerland where he appealed to the Supreme Court for the right to remain. He finally settled in Belgium and he is welcomed as a Belgian citizen.
- Thompson, Allan. Toronto Star, "`Deported' Arab stuck in jail limbo", June 14, 1995
- Kitchener Record, "Former PLO member shares time with family before deportation", July 6, 1995
- Kezwer, Gil, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Deportation slated for former Arafat guard, June 23, 1995
- Hughes, Jane. "Detention of Asylum-seekers in Europe", p. 117
- Aiken, Sharryn. "Manufacturing Terrorists: Refugees, National Security and Canadian Law", Part 2.
- Thompson, Allan. Toronto Star, "Caught in a legal swamp Ex-PLO member spends year in jail seeking `justice'", June 4, 1995
- Baroud (Re) (1995), 98 F.T.R. 99 (F.C.T.D.), Denault J., at paragraphs 28-30
- Thompson, Allan. Toronto Star, "Jailed Palestinian set to leave Canada", July 5, 1995
- Baroud (Re) (1995), 98 F.T.R. 99 (F.C.T.D.), at paragraph 23. Note 7.
- Baroud v. MCI, 1995. 22 O.R. (3rd), Part 4, 255. Ontario, Canada
- JWeekly, World Report, November 3, 1995
- Thompson, Allan. Toronto Star, "Palestinian back in Canada; Algeria refuses deported man entry", July 12, 1995
- Mallan, Caroline. Toronto Star, "Deported man finally leaves; Palestinian flies to Algeria after 13 months in jail", July 6, 1995
- Thompson, Allan. Toronto Star, "Add Casablanca saga to Palestinian's odyssey", July 13, 1995
- Thompson, Allan. Toronto Star, "Palestinian hustled to plane, deported", December 22, 1995
- Jackman, Barbara, Proceedings of the Special Senate Committee on the Anti-terrorism Act, May 30, 2005
- Bell, Colleen. Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Subject to Exception: Security Certificates, National Security and Canada's Role in the "War on Terror", 2006.
- Palestinian man Canada deported is welcomed as Belgian citizen