Maher Arar (born 1970) is a Canadian software engineer born in Syria. On September 26, 2002, during a stopover in New York en route from Tunis to Montreal, Arar was detained by the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service who were acting upon information supplied by the RCMP. Despite carrying a Canadian passport, he was deported to Syria in accordance with a U.S. policy known as "extraordinary rendition". Arar was then held in solitary confinement in a Syrian prison where, according to a Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Dennis O'Connor, he was regularly tortured until his eventual release and return to Canada in October 2003. The episode strained Canada-U.S. relations and resulted in the creation of a public inquiry in Canada "into the actions of Canadian officials dealing with the deportation and detention" of Arar. The commission's final report cleared Arar's name and was sharply critical of the RCMP and other Canadian government departments.
From Associated Press, quoting Justice O'Conner:
"The American authorities who handled Mr. Arar's case treated Mr. Arar in a most regrettable fashion," O'Connor wrote. "They removed him to Syria against his wishes and in the face of his statements that he would be tortured if sent there. Moreover, they dealt with Canadian officials involved with Mr. Arar's case in a less than forthcoming manner."