OCTOBER 23, 2007 –  As reported today by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC):

A Tunisian-born imam deported from Montreal for falsifying his refugee application described his treatment by Canadian authorities during his 13-hour trip home as torture.

Said Jaziri arrived in Tunisia Monday night after what he describes as an arduous plane journey from Montreal, during which he was handcuffed for more than half a day under supervision of the Canadian border authority.

In an interview with CBC’s French-language service Tuesday morning, Jaziri said he was deprived of any outside contact in the hours leading to his departure, including with his pregnant wife, and said the handcuffs he was forced to wear hurt him.

The Muslim cleric said the way he was treated qualified as psychological and physical torture, a nightmare that would take a lifetime to get over.

But despite fears about his personal safety in his native land, Jaziri was able to travel to his family’s home without incident and was left alone by Tunisian authorities.

Canadian immigration authorities deported Jaziri following his botched refugee application, in which he failed to reveal a prior criminal record in France, where he served jail time following a 1995 assault. His recent application for permanent residency was also turned down.

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