Thursday, July 24, 2008

Abdelrazik is another Arar

Remember Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Canadian/Sudanese imprisoned and allegedly tortured in Sudan for two years at Canada's request?
Sudan found him innocent of terrorist charges in 2004 and offered to fly him back to Montreal but Canada declined so Abdelrazik is now living in the lobby of the Canadian embassy in Khartoum. Yeah that guy.

Canada feared U.S. backlash over man trapped in Sudan
Senior [Transport Canada] intelligence officials warned against allowing Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, to return home from Sudan because it could upset the Bush administration, classified documents reveal.

"Senior government of Canada officials should be mindful of the potential reaction of our U.S. counterparts to Abdelrazik's return to Canada as he is on the U.S. no-fly list," intelligence officials say in documents in the possession of The Globe and Mail.

"Continued co-operation between Canada and the U.S. in the matters of security is essential. We will need to continue to work closely on issues related to the Security of North America, including the case of Mr. Abdelrazik," the document says.

The "Security of North America".

Drop Steve and Dave a line : and

Update : DFAIT response :

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Ottawa, OntarioK1A 0G2
July 24, 2008


On behalf of the Honourable David Emerson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, thank you for your correspondence of July 2, 2008 regarding Mr. Abousfian Abdelrazik in Sudan.

While the Privacy Act prevents me from sharing detailed information on this case, I can assure you that Canadian consular officials are providing Mr. Abdelrazik with assistance to ensure his health and well-being. We will continue to assist Mr. Abdelrazik until the matter has been resolved.

With respect to allegations that the Government of Canada was involved in Mr. Abdelrazik's arrest, I should clarify that this matter falls outside the purview of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. As such, you may wish to share your concerns with Public Safety Canada.

Again, thank you for writing.
Sincerely yours,
Sean Robertson,
Director, Case Management Division Consular Services and Emergency Management Branch

Mr Robertson is, according to CBC, "the senior foreign affairs official in charge of Abdelrazik's file".

In April Mr. Robertson "flatly denies Sudan ever offered a private aircraft to fly Mr. Abdelrazik back to Montreal. "I would like to confirm that no such offer was ever made to Department officials by the Sudanese government," the letter, signed by Sean Robertson, director of consular case management at Foreign Affairs, says.

In 2004, however, a Foreign Affairs official confirmed : "There is no unwillingness to allow him to come to Canada aboard a private plane which the Sudanese government is willing to provide," a senior Canadian foreign affairs official wrote then.


Raphael Alexander said...

If he's free to go now, why should we foot the bill for his plane ticket? I didn't realize Canada flew citizens around the world for free.

Alison said...

Oh please.
His family sent him the money and Sudan offered to fly him home gratis but he can't fly because he's on a no-fly list and he can't go by land or sea because Canada continues to refuse him a passport.

Raphael Alexander said...

Well, he is Sudanese. Isn't he already "home"?

Anonymous said...

I just saw a great deal on tix to Glasgow (which has just gone Conservative). I'll fork over the dough to repatriate Mr Alexander to his Scottish homeland. Gladly.
; )

peace, babies,

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