International Transfer of Offenders Act
For Abdulrahman, the lack of treatment and rehabilitation offered in the United States is a serious concern for his well-being and his chance at reintegration into society. As Professor Attaran states “…Canada actually provide[s] what someone like Mr. Bahnasawy needs.”
According to the Statutes of Canada, the International Transfer of Offenders Act (ITOA) is “An Act to implement treaties and administrative arrangements on the international transfer of persons found guilty of criminal offences.” The purpose of this Act is to “enhance public safety and to contribute to the administration of justice and the rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into the community by enabling offenders to serve their sentences in the country of which they are citizens or nationals.” For Abdulrahman, the lack of treatment and rehabilitation offered in the United States is a serious concern for his well-being and his chance at reintegration into society.
I am confident that the standard of care available to Mr. El Bahnasawy for his medical condition in a Canadian prison is at least equal, and very superior, to that available in a U.S. federal prison.
According to the latest International Transfers Annual Report (2016-2017) by the Correctional Service Canada (CSC), there have been 870 new applications for transfers from 2012 to 2017, 660 of those were from Canadians incarcerated in the United States. The outcomes of these new applications saw 28% rejected by one of the countries, 17% approved by both countries and hence a transfer, 14% of offenders withdrew, and 5% were ineligible. Out of the 286 cases that rendered a decision by the Minister of Public Safety (out of 671/879 application received by the CSC), the majority (186) took more than a year on average for processing.
From 2012-2017, the Minister rendered a decision on 475 cases (regardless of the date of the transfer application), of which 80% were approvals and 20% denials. The reasons for the denials were mostly either due to the high chances that the offender’s return would cause a national threat or or would commit another offence/crime. Once it is approved by the Minister, it usually takes 95 days to carry out the transfer. Since 1978, 1,502 of the 1,917 Canadians transferred to Canada were sent from the US (1,353 under Federal Jurisdiction).
The number of decisions rendered and applications approved/denied is correlated to the government in power. In 2012-2013, there were 168 decisions rendered, a backlog due to the Conservative government delaying the process of applications; 58% were approved. In 2016-2017, when the Liberals were in power, 115 transfer applications were rendered, 99% were approved.
It is Canada’s duty and responsibility to bring Abdulrahman back home. Abdulrahman does not belong in prison. At the very least, he deserves to serve his time in his home country where his family can easily visit and support him while receiving greater treatment than in the United States. There is no reason to deny Abdulrahman’s application for transfer since Abdulrahman does not pose any threat to society. With the support of his family and community in addition to the services provided by Canadian corrections such as mental health treatment, Abdulrahman can and will reintegrate into society to live his life as he should have before this preposterous situation occurred.
Next: Complaint to NSIRA Against RCMP
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"What makes this story even more disturbing is that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) knowingly participated in this sting with the FBI. They unlawfully obtained Abdulrahman’s medical records that described his mental health vulnerabilities and provided them to the FBI to better manipulate this damaged youth.
This raises serious human rights concerns of discriminatory investigations, targeting vulnerable youths such as Abdulrahman, who had no previous history of violence or criminality, until drawn in by a U.S. government actively involved in developing the plot, persuading and pressuring the target to participate."