|Zakaria Amara’s Speech|
|Written by Zakaria Amara|
|FRIDAY, 13 JUNE 2008 20:46|
Source: Zakaria Amara – 13-jun-08
In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
Bismillahir Rahman Nir raheem
Two years have passed since my arrest. When I was taken to Maplehurst I was held in the custody of the Institutional Crisis Intervention Team. Whenever I was moved from place to place, they would force me to run with my hands and legs shacked while my back was bent at 90 degrees forward.
When I was first brought to cell 1 unit 1K, I was slammed face first on the floor, a huge shield was then pressed against my back while a guard smeared my face with his boots because I dared lift my head
Whenever I was moved out of my cell, I was required to slide my hands through the hatch of the door, before it was opened in order to be hand cuffed. To do this I had to kneel on both knees. Many times when I put my hands through the hatch, the guards would forcefully pull my wrists so that my forehead would slam against the metal door.
Whenever the guards came in to collect the garbage they would often apply wrestling manoeuvres on me for the purpose of entertaining themselves. They would sometimes apply pressure on sensitive areas such as my temple and fingers. One day when I came back from court, a guard twisted my hands above my head forcing me to skip on one foot back to my cell.
Since then I have languished in solitary confinement, where for the first year on a daily basis, I spent 23 hours and 40 minutes in a cell no bigger than an apartment’s washroom.
The 23 hours and 40 minutes became a complete 24 hours when I was transferred to the Don Jail. Since then, I have seen the sun less than 10 times and have gone to the exercise yard less than 30 times.
My health, psychologically and physically is deteriorating. I was planning to testify at my trial but now I am not even sure if I will be mentally capable of doing so by the time it comes around, if it ever does.
As for the state of this so called Judicial Process, then I must admit I was naïve. I came in two years ago with the expectation of transparency only to be confronted with section 38, complete denial of CSIS disclosure, censorship of vital information in the so-called RCMP disclosure, and the concealing of state agents identities which by law must be revealed as opposed to informants whose identities are protected.
To expect the accused to mount an adequate defence in the face of such barriers, in a case which is political and state entrapment is a live issue, is to expect a frail old man to defend himself with his hands tied behind and eyes blindfolded, against a professional boxer.
I am not being subjective. I realize that all government agencies have secrets that must be protected. However, authorities have in the past used ‘ National Security’ to cover up their dirty work, exculpatory evidence and embarrassing facts. The Maher Arar case is a classic example.
Last year, I was denied the freedom to mix with the other human beings due to the dreamed up danger that I could somehow pose or communicate from within a six-cell block, monitored physically by correctional officers as well as virtually by closed circuit cameras, within a maximum security prison.
During about the same time, I conceded committal to trial for the exchange of having the opportunity to cross-examine a list of witnesses agreed upon by the crown. Both parties signed this agreement yet somehow, we are to believe, there was some alleged ambiguity that allowed the crown to file a direct indictment and effectively breach its undertaking. Now I am in a difficult position of having to cross-examine the main witness in my case, for the first time, at trial.
The unfair manoeuvre has also effectively robbed me of the ability to discover my case, which is a fundamental necessity for developing my defence. This is not an alleged bank robbery or a drug bust. The stakes for the government and the authorities are high thus making the potential for corruption and malice equally high if not higher.
During the adult preliminary, Mr. Bond used to monitor our eye blinks in the prisoner box to ensure that we were not violating the communication ban. While he was busy doing that, his star witness Mubin Shiekh was slaughtering the publication ban on National and international airwaves.
The crown held and is still holding the accused on various charges based on the desire to exaggerate this case and in order to hamper their bail chances and not on the merits of evidence.
These are only some of the main issues that I have. They may very well be supported by law, but at the end of the day, they remain unfair to any mind endowed with the faculty of reason and understanding. As St. Augustine said “An unjust law is no law at all”.
I never asked anyone to believe that I was innocent. All I ever asked for was a chance to prove it. After two years, I have come to realize that even this simple request is too much to expect from this process.
In conclusion, to continue to respect such a process is an insult to my dignity, the very little intellect that I have and my faith.
I will God willing, continue to defend myself through my lawyers, and I will continue to obey orders made by the court with the exception of the order to show it respect since I can’t be expected to give what I no longer have. This, in effect, means that I will no longer stand up for any judge as he/she enters and leaves the courtroom.
Based of the rhythm of the past two years, I have extrapolated the tune of the coming two years, and I’m not willing to be the fool that dances to it.
God willing, the complete and undistorted truth about the ‘ Toronto18’ will one day surface.