Anger grows over children caught in no-fly lists

Six-year-old Canadian Syed Adam Ahmed garnered national attention when he needed special security clearance to fly to Boston for the NHL Winter Classic -- but he’s far from the only child to be mistakenly caught in a “no-fly list.

See Full Article

Sheldon Ali says his son, Naseer Muhammad, was held up before flying for the first time when he was only 10 weeks old.

"We know it is going to happen every time," said Ali.

Repeated incidents have led Ali to believe that his son has been targeted because of his religion and ethnic background.

"My son's name is Muslim. We are Muslim. So it leaves me to believe (that) this is a form of racial profiling," he said.

Likewise, Syed Ayden Hussain was only 19-months old when he and his father, also named Syed, were held by border agents during a trip to the United States, only to be later released with no explanation.

"We had to submit our fingerprints ... they did retinal scans and took pictures of us," said his father, Syed Hussain.

Zamir Khan's son, Sebastian, was only six weeks old when he faced similar treatment before boarding a flight.

Khan said that he asked the Canadian government to intervene, but they said they could only offer assistance if his son was barred from the flight.

"I was informed that as long as he was only delayed by this, and not actually denied boarding, they can't help us," he said.

Following the incident involving Ahmed, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale promised to investigate the issue. He said the Liberal government pledged to review issues relating to "no-fly lists," as part of a broader plan to repeal the "problematic elements" of the previous government's anti-terrorism law, Bill C-51 -- which the Liberals supported.

However, Muslim groups are looking for concrete steps to improve the process and prevent the wrong names from landing -- and staying -- on the list.

"There has to be due process … before a person is listed," said Khalid Elgazzar, lawyer and vice-chair of the National Council of Canadian Muslims.

David Lyons, a professor of surveillance studies at Queen’s University, told CTV News earlier this week that there is "great secrecy" concerning the make-up up of no-fly lists, as well as their creation.

And some security experts argue that they repeatedly victimize innocent people.

"The burden of proving your innocence falls on the person who has been deemed guilty, and they have no idea why," said Emily Gilbert, a security expert and professor at the University of Toronto.

With a report by CTV’s Peter Akman



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • UberEATS driver charged with killing customer: police

    World News CTV News
    ATLANTA - Police say an Atlanta food delivery driver accused of fatally shooting a customer is in custody. Local media report 36-year-old Robert Bivines turned himself in Monday. Atlanta police said in a statement they had a warrant charging Bivines with felony murder. Source
  • New Pennsylvania congressional map could benefit Democrats

    World News CBC News
    Pennsylvania's high court issued a new congressional district map for the state's 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline Monday, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and that Republican lawmakers challenge it in Federal Court as they seek to protect their advantage in the U.S. Source
  • Jimmy Carter 'deathly afraid' as wife underwent surgery

    World News CTV News
    PLAINS, Ga. -- Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter said Monday he was "deathly afraid" as his 90-year-old wife underwent surgery over the weekend. Rosalynn Carter was recovering at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta after surgeons removed scar tissue from a portion of her small intestine early Sunday. Source
  • Prison tattoo and needle programs would help curb hepatitis: internal memo

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal prison service says setting up tattoo parlours and needle-exchange programs behind bars would help reduce the spread of hepatitis C. A Correctional Service memo obtained under the Access to Information Act advises Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale the proposals "warrant consideration" to round out existing and planned measures to fight hepatitis and HIV in prison. Source
  • Appeal court cuts child molester's 'unduly long and harsh' sentence in half

    Canada News CTV News
    ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- An appeal court has dramatically reduced a five-year jail term given a 74-year-old man for molesting four young girls, calling the sentence "unduly long and harsh" and cutting it in half. Source
  • Quebec trial underway for man whose pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled young girl

    Canada News CTV News
    LONGUEUIL, Que. -- A Quebec man is standing trial for criminal negligence causing bodily harm after one of his pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled a little girl in 2015. The two-day trial began today at the courthouse in Longueuil, Que. Source
  • Internal Tory turmoil in the spotlight as Ontario legislature resumes this week

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The sprint to Ontario's spring election begins this week as the legislature is set to resume following an unprecedented tumult that saw the official Opposition implode under the weight of its leader's resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations. Source
  • B.C. challenges Alberta wine ban under free trade rules

    Canada News CBC News
    The B.C. government is challenging Alberta's ban on B.C. wines through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's (CFTA) dispute settlement process. According to a release, the province has notified the Alberta government that it is formally requesting consultations under the CFTA regarding Alberta's embargo on the sale of B.C. Source
  • Apology sought for 'disturbing' confinement of people with disabilities

    Canada News CBC News
    An independent report that warned people with disabilities were being unjustly confined in a Nova Scotia psychiatric hospital is being described as "startling and disturbing" by a law professor at Dalhousie University. Archie Kaiser, who teaches at the Schulich School of Law, said the province should have found housing in the community with supports for the residents, after the review was delivered to senior health officials almost 13 years ago. Source
  • Hedley withdraws from Juno award consideration

    Canada News CBC News
    The members of the embattled rock band Hedley say they have withdrawn from consideration for three awards at this year's Junos and plan to "talk about how we have let some people down, and what we intend to do about it. Source