The administration of U.S. President George Bush
has refused to remove him from the list despite
repeated appeals from the Canadian government,
which has apologized to Mr. Arar and paid him
$10.5 million in compensation after a judicial
inquiry cleared him of any connection to
"It's shameful, really," said
lawyer Maria LaHood, of the the Center for
Constitutional Rights, which has filed suit
against the U.S. government on Mr. Arar's
"He has been named a hero by Time magazine,
but at the same time, we have the U.S.
government continuing to smear his name, which
prevents him from receiving this honour."
Earlier this year, Public Safety Minister
Stockwell Day was briefed on the secret U.S.
dossier; he said it contained no evidence to
alter the government's opinion on Mr. Arar's
U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael
Chertoff has said the continued listing of Mr.
Arar is appropriate based on information
developed by U.S. law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Arar was named to the prestigious Time
list in the "heroes and pioneers" category along
with fellow Canadian Michael J. Fox and an
eclectic collection of others, including Oprah
Winfrey, Elizabeth Edwards, George Clooney,
Warren Buffett and Wesley Autrey, a New Yorker
who leapt onto a subway track to save a man who
had collapsed with a seizure.
Vermont Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy,
chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee,
wrote the magazine's entry on Mr. Arar.
"Maher Arar's case stands as a sad example of
how we have been too willing to sacrifice our
core principles to overarching government power
in the name of security," Mr. Leahy wrote, "when
doing so only undermines the principles we stand
for -- and makes us less safe."
The Bush administration has refused to
acknowledge responsibility in the case, Mr.
Leahy said, other than to offer a "tepid
explanation" that it had assurances from Syrian
officials that Mr. Arar would not be tortured.
"These are the same Syrian officials with whom
our government now says it will not negotiate
because they are not trustworthy," he added.
In a prepared statement, Mr. Arar, who is
studying for his PhD at the University of
Ottawa, said he was very honoured to be included
in the Time 100 list and thanked all of those
who have helped him throughout his "struggle for
Mr. Arar now lives in B.C., but is planning
to move back to Ottawa with his family this
He is the first victim of the Bush
administration's practice of extraordinary
rendition to contest his treatment in a U.S.
court, according to the New York-based Center
for Constitutional Rights.