Arar warns innocent lives at risk unless Canadian journalism improves
Maher Arar. (CPimages/Tom Hanson)
TORONTO (CP) - Maher Arar says more innocent lives could be ruined unless the Canadian media improve the quality of their coverage.
in an address to North America's first international conference on investigative journalism, Arar called on reporters to serve the weak and vulnerable, not the powerful and anonymous. Arar is a Canadian citizen who was deported by the United States to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured.
He was later completely exonerated of allegations that he had terrorist connections.
He says an investigative, independent and responsible news media is the public's best defence against corruption and abuses of power.
Arar says despite his exoneration, government officials who leaked information that led to his deportation may still be in positions of trust.
He says irresponsible media treatment of these leaks contributed to the destruction of his reputation, which made him seem "worse than a serial killer."