(January 5, 2016) – Syed Adam Ahmed was travelling to Boston with his father on December 31st to watch the Montréal Canadiens take on the Boston Bruins in the NHL’s annual Winter Classic contest, when the family discovered that their son was “DHP”, or “deemed high profile” and would therefore need to undergo heightened security screening. The family says they have endured this treatment for years.
“Clearly something is broken when we have young children being flagged as security risks, and where parents have no meaningful recourse to get the situation addressed,” says Khalid Elgazzar, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) Vice-Chair and a human rights lawyer in Ottawa.
“This case highlights the injustices caused by the practice of presumptively deeming individuals to be security risks and placing them on watch lists without providing them any prior notice, information, or any opportunity to participate in these so-called risk assessments.”
The NCCM is asking Canadians who find themselves unfairly targeted or placed on no-fly lists or other similar security lists to contact the organization, and fill out an incident report form in order to ensure adequate documentation and follow up with federal officials.
“This raises very real concerns about the detrimental impact of false positives and a lack of clarity around how to proceed for those who are listed in this way. These issues have been further muddled by the passage of the new anti-terror legislation by the previous government. The federal government now has an opportunity to address these systematic flaws in the security regime that harm innocent people, including children,” adds NCCM Executive Director Ihsaan Gardee.
NCCM is welcoming the announcement that federal Public Safety Minister is investigating the disturbing case of a six-year-old whose name appears to be on a security watch list.