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Nadler, Delahunt To Hold Hearing On Maher Arar's 'extraordinary Rendition'

Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and William Delahunt (D-Mass.) both of whom chair subcommittees on the House Judiciary Committee, will hold a joint hearing on Thursday regarding Maher Arar's "extraordinary rendition" to Syria.

Arar, a Canadian citizen, was stopped at JFK Airport in 2002 and sent by U.S. authorities to Syria, where he was tortured without ever being charged with a crime. Arar had been mistakenly placed by the Canadian government on a terrorist watch list. A Canadian commission eventually exonerated Arar of any ties to terrorist groups and gave him $11 million in compensation.

The CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have sent some suspected terrorists to countries lacking rigorous civil-rights protections, such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan and even Syria, where these suspects are often tortured. Arar and others who have suffered the same treatment have sued the U.S. government over the practice, but the Supreme Court recently refused to hear one, while others have been dismissed after the Justice Dept. cited state secrets grounds.

Arar, not surprisingly, will be appearing at the hearing via videoconference, along with four legal experts who will speak on the constitutionality of the practice.