Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was deported to Syria and tortured after being falsely accused of terrorist ties, has launched PRISM Magazine, a not-for-profit journal focused on national security related issues. The website claims that “our governments have deliberately struck down many of our fundamental human rights and civil liberties” in their efforts to bolster national security, and suggests that many of the issues regarding our rights and liberties are not covered adequately in the mainstream media.
Arar explained the motivation behind PRISM:
“I’ve been thinking about starting a magazine for a year or two. . . . I think (national security) issues need a little more in-depth coverage and analyses . . . how it affects our rights and civil liberties,” Arar said Wednesday.
PRISM was chosen because it, “is something that takes one type of light and defuses into many lights, emphasizing the analyses. Prism means transparency, too. That’s the kind of impression we want to portray.”
(Managing editor Richard) Swain, who has an extensive background in publishing and has acted as Arar’s media spokesman, said North America’s rush to outlaw terrorism with new law, policy and procedures has “demonstrated many flaws that impact our human and civil rights, privacy and international reputation, and because of this, we feel that there is much benefit to a better and more broadly informed public.”
The magazine has an impressive list of contributors, and the website is already full of content. Hopefully, PRISM will add another voice to those concerned about the impacts of national security policy and practices on civil liberties and human rights.