Muslim Canadian Congress demands Police protection for Rocco Galati
- Press Release
Muslim Canadian Congress demands
immediate Police protection for Rocco Galati
DEATH THREAT TO LAWYER SENDS FEAR AMOMG CANADA'S MUSLIMS
TORONTO, December 5, 2003 The Muslim Canadian Congress has asked
the RCMP and Toronto Police to provide immediate protection to
lawyer Rocco Galati, expressing alarm at the nonchalant approach
they have taken in dealing with a serious death threat.
"We are stunned at the cavalier attitude taken by the Toronto Police
and the RCMP in dealing with Rocco Galati's appeal for help," said
Amina Sherazee of the Muslim Canadian Congress. "By refusing to
offer protection to Rocco Galati, the law enforcement agencies have
sent a very dangerous message to Canada's Muslimsthey are on their
own from now on," said Ms Sherazee, herself a civil rights lawyer.
The Muslim Canadian Congress has asked the Prime Minister, the
Ontario Premier and the Mayor of Toronto to intervene in this matter
and restore the faith of Canada's Muslims in Canada's judicial
system; the core of which lies in the ability of all to be defended
in court without intimidation or threats to their lawyers.
Tarek Fatah, founding member of the MCC and host of the TV show, The
Muslim Chronicle said the chilling message Muslims got from this
incident is that "Not only are they subject to arbitrary arrest and
detention, the lawyers who defend them could be intimidated into
withdrawing from the case, as reflected in the abandonment of many
cases by Mr. Galati."
The Muslim Canadian Congress feels that this incident will instill
fear, not just among Canada's Muslims, but also among lawyers. They
will be deterred from taking up the cases of "brown skinned
Muslims," as described by Rocco Galati "Muslims, who already face
systemic racism in the judicial system will now find it difficult to
find lawyers to stand up for them in court," said Amina Sherazee.
We therefore demand that the Toronto Police:
Provide Mr. Galati with immediate protection
Prioritize the investigation of the threat
We also demand that the Federal government
Instruct RCMP to provide police protection
Investigate the matter with Foreign Affairs
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For more information please call Amina Sherazee at 416-934-4561