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Maher Arar Grassroots Activism

Amnesty activists created a giant paper airplane petition calling on President Obama and Congress to apologize to Maher Arar at the AGM in San Francisco in March 2011.

What can you do to help end torture during Torture Awareness Month? Start by joining an interactive webinar with Amnesty International staff and other activists on Thursday, June 9th at 8 PM EDT/ 5 PM PDT. The discussion will focus on how grassroots activism can be used to end torture and hold governments accountable for human rights violations.

Sunday, June 26th marks the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the focal point of June’s Torture Awareness Month. During this month, the Security with Human Rights (SWHR) campaign of Amnesty International is focusing attention on the moving case of Maher Arar.

Arar, a Canadian national, was detained at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York while traveling home from a family trip to Tunisia in 2002. US officials then sent him to Syria where he was tortured and illegally imprisoned for almost one year. In a June 1, 2011 blog post, Tom Parker, Policy Director for the SWHR campaign, described how this innocent man was swept up by the post-9/11 US national security program. SEE THE REST OF THIS POST