Abousfian Abdelrazik watch

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Diogenes Diogenes's picture
Abousfian Abdelrazik watch

Every day I do a Google News Canada search for Abousfian-Abdelrazik.

The public support for the man, even in my hometown of Calgary, has been inspiring. The media coverage has been compassionate and thorough.

The government is behaving badly and continues to do so in spite of public and media opinion that overwhelmingly supports bringing him home. He is a Canadian after all.

Now our government want him to confess to being a member of al-Qaeda before they allow him home. They need this to collaborate evidence they have, obtained under torture in Gitmo by Bush and company, to indemnify themselves against any future lawsuits.

Mr. Ignatieff, awaiting coronation, has nothing to say. Nor does any other politician in Canada, from what I can tell.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

ABOUSFIAN ABDELRAZIK
Cause for all Canadian citizens to worry

Globe and Mail, April 29, 2009

His name is Abousfian Abdelrazik, but it could as easily be Joseph Smith, a Canadian Everyman. He is a citizen denied the right to return to his country by the Canadian government without explanation; for the past year he has languished in Canada's embassy in Khartoum. If Canada can dismiss his citizenship so arbitrarily, the currency of Canadian citizenship is devalued, and the rule of law degraded.

Mr. Abdelrazik, an Everyman? Some Canadians may object. It is not every Canadian who has been publicly labelled an al-Qaeda recruiter by the United States government, as he was in 2006. It is not every Canadian who would be jailed - twice - in Sudan, and at Canada's request.

But any Canadian who leaves this country to work, travel or study may face an accusation of serious criminality abroad. Will Canada insist on due process for them if they are denied it? Will Canada be the one, as in this case, to deny due process and basic fairness?

The alleged terrorist Abousfian Abdelrazik, with his long white beard and the traditional white robe and kufi cap of a practising Muslim, watching television to pass the time behind the embassy's concrete walls, is the test of Canada's commitment to the rule of law and the value of citizenship. Print Edition - Section Front

TORTURE BEARS FRUIT

Canada seems quite content to apply the fruits of torture against Mr. Abdelrazik.

In a document filed with the Federal Court, where Mr. Abdelrazik is pressing for the right to return to Canada, the government asked him about his alleged association with Abu Zubaydah. That allegation probably emerged from the U.S. interrogations of Mr. Zubaydah, who is not only a key member of al-Qaeda but also a central figure in the use by the U.S. of torture techniques, having been waterboarded (a near-drowning technique) 80 times. At the very moment when the U.S. is searching its soul over the issue of torture on Mr. Zubaydah, Canada appears willing to stake its case against Mr. Abdelrazik on allegations possibly obtained through the torture of Mr. Zubaydah. And this, after the Minister of Public Safety, Peter Van Loan, said early this month that Canada would not use information obtained under torture even to break up an imminent attack. Sadly, this gap between official Canadian rhetoric and behaviour is not atypical.

THE GOALPOSTS ARE HERE, NO THERE

The government of Canada told Mr. Abdelrazik in 2004 that, as a citizen, he was entitled to an emergency travel document to come home. Unofficially, though, he was blocked. The U.S. put him on its no-fly list in 2005, and an unidentified country put him on a United Nations no-fly list a year later, and he had no passport. Canada refused to issue him a passport and said it could do nothing about the no-fly lists. In classified documents, Canadian security officials warn that the government "should be mindful of the potential reaction of our U.S. counterparts" if Mr. Abdelrazik is allowed to return. When Sudan, which had cleared Mr. Abdelrazik, offered to fly him back to Canada, documents show that Canada said no.

AIRFARE DONATED

Then the Canadian government seemed to clear his name. The Foreign Affairs department confirmed in writing, on April 18, 2008, that it was asking for Mr. Abdelrazik to be removed from the UN no-fly list, after the RCMP and CSIS, Canada's civilian spy agency, said they possessed no "current and substantive information" that Mr. Abdelrazik was a terrorist. If an airline was willing to take him, the government said, he could fly home. But on Dec. 23, 2008, Passport Canada insisted he have a fully paid-for ticket before it would issue an emergency passport; the Canadian government warned that anyone offering him money for a ticket could be charged with supporting terrorism. After more than 160 Canadians chipped in airfare anyway, the government reversed course and declared on April 3 that he is a national security threat. It rejected his request for an emergency passport. Catch-22, anyone?

TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL

Mr. Abdelrazik is on centre stage in a theatre of the absurd. Ottawa's improvised actions are full of contradictions, and unbecoming for a major nation. Ottawa may simply be too stubborn to admit its mistakes on the file. It would rather dig itself in deeper, even allow itself to be tarnished by exploiting the fruits of torture, than admit it's been wrong.

If Mr. Abdelrazik is a terrorist, why doesn't Canada bring him home to face charges under the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act? If he were a big player in al-Qaeda, why did the U.S. not capture him and take him to one of its secret, offshore jails, or to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? If he is dangerous, isn't it better to have him in Canada, where he can be watched or charged, than to allow him to roam (he is free to leave the Khartoum embassy), perhaps to turn up in Afghanistan, with the enemy? And why did the Canadian Security Intelligence Service take such an unusual step as to ask publicly for an inquiry into its own role, in a bid to clear its name of allegations that it had Mr. Abdelrazik arrested in Sudan? What goes on here in our democracy?

Governments need to act according to clearly understood rules. That is fundamental to democracy. An accusation, without a lawful process, cannot be allowed to negate citizenship. It is beyond the pale, even in an age of terror, to turn a Canadian into a non-person. Mr. Abdelrazik is you.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

ABDELRAZIK

The Justice Minister and the rule of law

Gobe and Mail, April 30, 2009

The late Ian Scott once said a good lawyer and a good attorney-general share the same attribute: "the moral courage to advance unpopular causes." The question is whether Canada has an attorney-general with that quality. Ottawa's arbitrary denial of Abousfian Abdelrazik's right to return to this country, though he's a citizen, raises questions about whether Rob Nicholson, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, is up to the task.

Unpopular causes occasionally need an advocate at the highest reaches of government. It is the attorney-general's role, beyond partisan politics, to stand up for the public interest. Whether Mr. Nicholson is doing so - or whether the cabinet or the Prime Minister's Office cares to hear from him - is not publicly known. While not nearly the hawk on populist causes that his predecessor, Vic Toews, was, he lacks the legal heft that prominent lawyers such as Mr. Scott have brought to such jobs. (Mr. Scott was attorney-general of Ontario in the late 1980s.) Mr. Nicholson is known mostly as a career politician.

Under his leadership, the government is on a major losing streak in high-profile foreign-policy cases before senior courts. The case of Mr. Abdelrazik, a suspected terrorist holed up in the Canadian embassy in Sudan, awaiting a trip home to Canada, is just the latest in which the Federal Court of Canada is being asked to intervene in an area where judges seldom venture: foreign policy. In one case after another, the courts have expanded the reach of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, objecting both to Canada's arbitrariness and its complicity in rights abuses involving Canadian citizens abroad.

The attorney-general is the senior legal adviser to the Crown, apart from being a politician. The Department of Justice Act says he has the "superintendence of all matters connected with the administration of justice in Canada" (outside provincial jurisdiction). "It's always his obligation to give the government the best legal advice he's capable of, regardless of the political consequences," says the political scientist Peter Russell.

The Conservative government has taken the position that it has no obligation to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home. On the surface, that sounds reasonable - Mr. Abdelrazik, an alleged terrorist, went to Sudan of his own accord - but Canada has thrown up a series of roadblocks to keep him out. It has told him he could have an emergency passport if he could obtain a plane ticket home, but when he got one, it said he was a danger to Canada - though both the RCMP and CSIS said they have no current or substantive information against him. Furthermore, Canada is implicated in his arrest and 19 months of his detention in Sudan, documents show, though Ottawa denies asking to have him arrested.

The Conservative government needs someone with the moral courage to advance the unpopular cause of Mr. Abdelrazik, because he is a citizen and, as his rights go, so go the rights of all Canadians.

Unionist

Don't post full articles. It's a copyright violation. Just a link and a couple paras.

 

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Unionist wrote:

Don't post full articles. It's a copyright violation. Just a link and a couple paras.

I would except that G&M articles disappear after a few weeks and this story is more enduring.

Besides, the article has been attributed.  This is an archive for Rabble/Babble users.

 

Unionist

I fully agree about the importance of this story, but I just thought I'd familiarize you with babble policy:

http://www.rabble.ca/comment/982163/Thirusuj-PLEASE-do-not

http://rabble.ca/comment/938589/Re-Native-Canadians

etc.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Didn't catch this story until today.  It's the best I think, good history, good writng, good journalism. Please read it before it's gone.

Terror claims trap Canadian in Khartoum

Paul Koring, Globe & Mail, April 28, 2009

 

I think the Globe & Mail is to be commended for it's excellent journalism and advocacy in the Abdelrazik story.  They are digging and exposing the government for it's absolutely shameful behavoir. 

The Abdelrazik is the most serious breach of a government gone mad, IMHO, and it puzzles me that there is not more public outrage over this story.

I compiled some search metrics today.  Here are the "results" on Abdelrazik from each of the following websites:

Googgle  CAN  106

Globe&Mail      152  include letters to editor

CBC.ca             90 but only 5 in April

National Post    18   but thin coverage

Canwest          38   includes 18 from NP

CTV                  9   surprising, considering coverage in G&M

Rabble             16  some of the best

So a question to all Rabble Rousers here - How do we raise public awarness, media coverage and political pressure to make a government accountable on this?  Iggy ain't doing it.

What is going on CANADA ???

remind remind's picture

Canadians are under threat and overwhelmed, and the main issue is the anti-democratic of the msm, which is keeping them completely un-informed, except for the constant fear mongering.

 

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

An excerpt from the G&M aritcle: Cause for all Canadians to worry

Quote:
If an airline was willing to take him, the government said, he could fly home. But on Dec. 23, 2008, Passport Canada insisted he have a fully paid-for ticket before it would issue an emergency passport; the Canadian government warned that anyone offering him money for a ticket could be charged with supporting terrorism

When I first read here about how Canadians risked being charged with supporting terrorism if they donated airfare for Abdelrazik I really did not believe it.  That was just a little too weird, Ripley. Then the G&M also reported the same in their recent articles.

Here is my latest blog, Dear Abou: We changed our minds. It which has a facsimile of the letter from Canada's Department of Justice, sent to Abdelrazik's lawyer just hours before the plane with his fully paid seat was set to depart.  WHAT A BUNCH OF ASSHOLES!

I am wondering if this same supporting terrorism logic also applies to all those Canadians who PAID to hear George Galloway speak, the 6000+ that signed the online petition supporting him or the 10,000 that joined the Facebook group?  Soon Canada's no-fly list will resemble the Calgary phone directory.

Hope this works for you - if it doesn't then try the same with the blog.

Below are pictures of the 'Honourable' Rob Nicholson, Canada's Minister of Justice, and the 'Honourable' Lawerence (water) Cannon, Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

robNicholson
lawrenceCannon

Cick on either picture to open your email client with a ready-to-go address and subject line. Ask them to explain themselves or at least tell 'em what you think, but please, do something.

And if you do, tell us that you did. Otherwise it's just the sound of one hand clapping.

Fidel

Our stooges have been willing partners of the American inquisition since at least Omar Khadr.

Just refuse to submit to their 9/11 religion and their phony war on terror. 

ghoris

Diogenes wrote:

Mr. Ignatieff, awaiting coronation, has nothing to say. Nor does any other politician in Canada, from what I can tell.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

I recall seeing a news conference on TV in support of Mr. Abdelrazik and Irwin Cotler was the featured speaker. He called on the government in no uncertain terms to issue an emergency passport and used some pretty strong language. Here's a link to his news release: "Bring Abdelrazik Home".

A few days later, Mr. Cotler wrote a column on the subject for the Globe and Mail: "Stranded and abandoned in Sudan".

NDP Foreign Affairs critic Paul Dewar also called for the repatriation of Mr. Abdelrazik (news release), and in this recent Globe article was referred to as having "championed" Mr. Abdelrazik's case. Mr. Dewar has brought a motion forward to the Foreign Affairs committee to have Mr. Abdelrazik brought before the committee (which presumably would require the government to fly him back to Canada).

BQ Foreign Affairs critic Paul Crête has also called for the goverment to bring Mr. Abdelrazik back to Canada: news release here.

I don't think the issue is the lack of politicians paying attention, I think it is the lack of awareness among the general public. Obviously the Harper government is not feeling any significant public pressure to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home or they probably would have done so. I think you are giving far too much credit to Ignatieff's ability to sway the government - I doubt having him make some statement or raise the issue in question period would do much to sway Harper's stance, and I don't think it would result in any more media coverage than is already being given.

Fidel

I think it's better if he just confesses to whatever it is they want him to. I've heard that the inquisitors will sometimes lighten up on the torture a little if the guilty ones cooperate.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

ghoris wrote:

I don't think the issue is the lack of politicians paying attention, I think it is the lack of awareness among the general public. Obviously the Harper government is not feeling any significant public pressure to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home or they probably would have done so. I think you are giving far too much credit to Ignatieff's ability to sway the government - I doubt having him make some statement or raise the issue in question period would do much to sway Harper's stance, and I don't think it would result in any more media coverage than is already being given.

Thanks for the post ghoris, I had every hope that someone would set out to prove me wrong.

That said, your last paragraph says it better than I could.  Three MP's (3) out of 320 (or whatever) speaking out on flagrant abuses of freedom of speech, citizen rights, human rights, border security and foreign security policy by our current government, IMHO, is definite proof of a lack of politicians not paying attention or maybe that far too many are are born without a spine.

After Geert Wilders was banned from Britian, a British MP offered to escort him through customs to the Commons for a private viewing of the film he 'co-produced'.  The idea was to challenge to the 'law' they/we have with respect to the 'War on Terror' against the 'freedom of speech' notion everybody likes to talk about.  I don't recall any Canadian MP offering to do the same for George Galloway.

Oops, sorry, wrong thread. I digress.

I live in the Nederlands. I like my neighbours. Having never heard of Geert Wilders before I came here I was pretty neutral about the guy. We even watched his 'film' and thought WTF is all the fuss all about.

But Geert Wilders is a fruitcake. I think most of my neighbours supported the British ban because the guy is a serious embarassment. They would never say that out loud because the dutch are very tolerant about other views, but I just know that's what they are thinking.Cool

Michael Ignatieff has just been elected as leader of the Liberal Party at a leadership convention. He is royalty, he is an intellectual, he is an expert on human rights. At least that's what I've been told.

Someone else on some other web page called it a leadership deficitDamn, wish I'd said that first.

______________________

Looking for an honest man

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

[url=Canadian">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20090504.ABDELRAZIK04AR... agents secretly interrogated Abdelrazik[/url]

PAUL KORING, Globe and Mail, May 4, 2009

Quote:

The government of Stephen Harper is now blocking Mr. Abdelrazik's return to Canada and fighting his bid in federal court to force Passport Canada to made good on its previous promise of an emergency one-way travel document.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

ghoris wrote:

I recall seeing a news conference on TV in support of Mr. Abdelrazik and Irwin Cotler was the featured speaker. He called on the government in no uncertain terms to issue an emergency passport and used some pretty strong language. Here's a link to his news release: "Bring Abdelrazik Home".

A few days later, Mr. Cotler wrote a column on the subject for the Globe and Mail: "Stranded and abandoned in Sudan".

Hoi ghoris.  I had actually read that article and did not realize Colter was an MP.  What is very interesting about this is that Colter was Minister of Justice and Attonery-General when Abdelrasik was first imprisoned.  The story began under his watch. His wikipedia page says "He is considered an expert on international law and human rights law."

On Michael Ignatieff's wikpedia page it states "He lived in the United States from 2000 to 2005; there, he was director of Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy while examing the use of the torture against detainees during George Bush's War on Terror."

Colter's article appeared April 3. A lot has happened since, including a Liberal leadership convention where, AFAIK, the issue was never discussed.

It is going to be interesting to see how this unfolds.

______________________

Looking for an honest man

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

The all party Foreign affairs comittee called yesterday for Abousfian Abdelrazik to appear before it.

Conservative MP's on the committee (including Lawrence Cannon, abstained from the vote but did not oppose it.

Here is the story from the Globe and Mail.

He is coming home ladies and gentlemen, one way or the other.

The media coverage is also stepping up.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Thanks for keeping us up-to-date with this story.

Unionist

[url=UN">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090506.wabdelrazik0... says Canada is free to bring Abdelrazik home[/url]

Quote:

Canada is free to bring Abousfian Abdelrazik home and doesn't need to ask for permission, the UN official overseeing the blacklist of alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects said Wednesday.

“Whether it is Abdelrazik or anybody else, it is up to the state in question whether they want to allow the person to come back or not,” said Richard Barrett, co-ordinator of the UN's Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, which oversees the various United Nations resolutions establishing the blacklist on which Mr. Abdelrazik was placed at the request of Washington in 2006.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Goggle News Canada - [url=http://news.google.ca/news?pz=1&ned=ca&hl=en&q=Abousfian-Abdelrazik&cf=a... watch[/url] - today's results 36/98 (36 stories, 98 with duplicates)

Canwest, Toronto Star, and Winnipeg Free Press are running the story.

Paul Koring has the best news article in the G&M (link above)

Today the government goes to court to argue exactly the opposite of what is claimed by others. 

[url=http://www.canada.com/news/national/Court+hearing+scheduled+Canadian+str... hearing scheduled for Canadian stranded in Sudan[/url]
By Marian Scott, Montreal GazetteMay 6, 2009

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Today's GNC score: 27 / 133

Broard coverage by Canwest

Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Sun, The Province, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Journal, Regina Leader Post, Times-Colonist, Windsor Star, Star-Phoenix, Nanaimo Daily News to name a few.

ghoris

I was re-reading this thread again, and this quote from the April 29 Globe and Mail editorial caught my eye:

Quote:
 His name is Abousfian Abdelrazik, but it could as easily be Joseph Smith, a Canadian Everyman.

...

It is beyond the pale, even in an age of terror, to turn a Canadian into a non-person. Mr. Abdelrazik is you. 

Of course the Globe editorial is precisely correct, but it also illustrates the real problem here. Hands up anyone who doesn't think that if Mr. Abdelrazik was a white guy from Moose Jaw named Joseph Smith, he would have been home a long time ago. I hate to say it, but I think this is the real reason there is no public groundswell that would force the government's hand.

Ze

Quote:
Why won't the Harper government let Abousfian Abdelrazik come home?

Recent history shows it is likely about shielding Canadian agencies from accountability for their role in his detention and torture.

Indeed, there's frighteningly very little that is unprecedented about the federal government's handling of Mr. Abdelrazik's case now, or in the past.

Two federal commissions of inquiry -- the O'Connor Commission and the Iacobucci Inquiry -- have documented Canada's role in the overseas detention and torture of four other Canadian Muslim men.

[url=http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/they%20want%20Abdelrazik%20come%20home... Pither, author of Dark Days, writing in the Ottawa Citizen[/url]

 

toddsschneider

"Federal Court orders Ottawa to let Abdelrazik return to Canada"

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/06/04/abdelrasik.html

The Federal Court of Canada has ordered the federal government to allow the return of a Montreal man stranded in Sudan for six years as an al-Qaeda suspect, arguing his charter rights have been breached ...

Calling his case "complex," Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has previously said Abdelrazik must get himself removed from the United Nations blacklist before he can return to Canada.

But Canadian media reports have quoted UN officials as saying Canada can repatriate Abdelrazik any time it wishes, whether or not his name is on the UN list.




Rod Manchee

Our PM being a firm believer in free trade, namely exchange with no additional charges and the benefit being greater efficiencies, I’d like to suggest that the Abdelrazik affair is a perfect test case. Consider the tremendous benefits of exchanging Mr Abdulrazik for Mr Harper. Mr Abdelrazik could be repatriated, Mr Harper could enjoy some fresh air and sunshine, and the Canadian people could save on Mr Harper’s salary(maybe he could get EI, so that would have to be netted out) and perhaps begin some recovery from his policies. Sending the whole cabinet would enormously magnify the effect.

Sure, the embassy and locals there would get the short end of the stick - so what else is new?

jrootham

The government just stiffed the court. 

What's the penalty for this kind of contempt and who pays it?  Which minister goes to jail?  The Prime Minister, even?

 

 

Unionist

jrootham wrote:

The government just stiffed the court. 

What's the penalty for this kind of contempt and who pays it?  Which minister goes to jail?  The Prime Minister, even?

 

 

Here's a [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/649920]repaired version[/url] of jrootham's linked story.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

The GNC score today is 38/291 - best ever!

Wow - this is great, (I think) - the court ruling, the pithy quotes from the judge, and now international media coverage.

From an article in the most recent edition of The Economist, [url=http://www.economist.com/world/americas/displaystory.cfm?story_id=138324... abroad: Some on on their own[/url]

Quote:
It (the government) is arguing in the court of appeal in the Khadr case that Canada has no legal duty to protect its citizens once they leave the country.

The treatment of this man by our officials, now and in the past, by both Conservative and Liberal governments, is deplorable. It is racist, undignified and against the principles of rights and respect all Canadians deserve.

Who is to blame? All parties.  It started under a liberal gov't and is continuing under the conservatives. Blame almost all politicians because so very few of them have the backbone to stand to this most egregious breech of rights against a common citizen. 

And we have to blame ourselves too.  I am greaty saddened at how few of us have cared.

 

toddsschneider

"Federal Court puts aside cautious image"

http://tinyurl.com/kp2jnp

OTTAWA — The Conservative government’s national security agenda has been set back by a steady losing streak in the Federal Court, a trend that analysts attribute to an emboldened bench that is finding its voice and growing out of a tendency to defer to lawmakers as it did in the early years after 9/11.

In the last two months, the traditionally cautious court has issued stinging decisions ordering the government to repatriate terror suspect Omar Khadr from Guantanamo Bay and bring Canadian Abousfian Abdelrazik home from Sudan.

Judges have also issued three biting critiques of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, accusing the spy agency of possibly lying to the court about its intelligence information and being complicit in torture of Canadians abroad ...


Diogenes Diogenes's picture

WOW - for a brief moment, the top story on [url=">http://news.google.ca]GNC[/url][/u]

Score right now - 120/120 - normal stats not available when it's a top story.

Thanks to Paul Koring of the Globe and Mail for his excellent reporting and dogged journalism.

Thanks to Paul Dewar (NDP - Ottawa) for his efforts in pressing the issue in the house and in committee.

Thanks to Irwin Colter,(Lib - Montreal) former minister of Justice (in 2003), for asking the question yesterday in the House of Commons.

Thanks to Rob Nicholson, Minister of Justice, for finally coming up with the right answer.

Thanks to anyone who wrote, emailed, or contacted Cannon, Nicholson, Harper, or Ignatieff, or any MP on this matter.

Thanks to all who have written, posted, protested or otherwise cared enough to do something, anything, to make a difference. There were many altogether, though it felt lonely at times.

Taken all together, along with a Federal Court decision, it made a difference.

- one happy camper!

Smile  Cool  Laughing

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

New developments since my last post...

Today's Goggle News Canada [url=*: ">http://news.google.ca/news?pz=1&ned=ca&hl=en&q=Abousfian-Abdelrazik&cf=a... 80/361 - best ever!

* GNC search for Abfousfian-Abdelrazik sorted by date 80 stories / 361 with duplicates

Mr. Abdelrazik is scheduled to arrive at Pearson Int'l late Saturday afternoon (June 27th).  I wish I could be there.

Two days ago someone tipped CBC and CTV on a (new?) United Nations Security Council Committee [url=http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI22006E.shtml]web link[/url] that rehashes the allegations against Mr. Abdelrazik.  Canada was a member of the 47 nation UN Security Council Committee until recently, and the only member [url=http://sontag.ca/blogs/Dear%20Abdelrazik.html]to support[/url] the expansion of illegal Israel settlements.  I digress.

Mr. Abdelrazik can request a diplomatic escort if he chooses, an option offered by Justice Zinn of the Federal Court of Canada.  It was Justice Zinn's decision that triggered the government to comply with the rule of law.

No doubt that exercising this option would trigger an upgrade to business class, which is nice, but it's like being offered a chance to meet Stephen Harper in person.  Some of us would rather not, no matter how honoured others might feel.

Still, I hope Abou gets to fly home business class.  He deserves it.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Things are taking a real ugly turn here ...

[url=http://www.canada.com/Former+terror+suspect+face+difficult+homecoming/17... terror suspect may face difficult homecoming[/url]

What is to be made of this?

toddsschneider

"Abdelrazik's safe homecoming from Sudan assured: Feds"

http://tinyurl.com/o7jayp

OTTAWA — The federal government is now satisfied that Abousfian Abdelrazik's planned homecoming to Canada will not be interfered with in any way.

As the 47-year-old Canadian citizen began the first leg of his journey home Friday from his birth country of Sudan, where he has endured a six-year ordeal, the Justice Department has assured Abdelrazik's lawyers that all is expected to go as planned.

Yavar Hameed, his Ottawa lawyer, had raised concerns that Abdelrazik might be intercepted by U.S. authorities, who believe the Montreal man is a terrorist ...

ottawaobserver

One interesting aspect to this story:  His lawyer set up a Twitter account to track their progress back to Canada.  If anything had happened along the way, we would be hearing about it almost immediately.  Kind of an interesting use of Twitter to hold remote government officials to account.

Follow the progress here:  http://twitter.com/retouraubercail

As of when I'm writing this, they were still in Abu Dhabi awaiting the departure of their flight to Toronto.  Isn't it great to have a good news story for a change.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Well I'm glad he made it home, at least.

He was not allowed to fly from Toronto to Montreal (no reasons were given by the feds) and he has spooks tailing him; no one is allowed to give him money or a job because he is still on the UN no fly list.

[url=http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/mysterious-people-tailing-a... people tailing Abdelrazik on his first days at home, lawyer says[/url] - Globe and Mail

Canada, what a great country!

 

Today's score - 86/566 - Our man is 'In the news'

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Event: Court Hearing, followed by Press Scrum
Date: Tuesday, 7 July 2009
Time: 2pm (Press Scrum to follow hearing)
Location: Federal Court of Canada, 30 McGill St., Montreal

Mr. Abousfian Abdelrazik, who was reunited with his children [a week ago] Saturday after six years of exile, will make a brief statement to media after a Federal Court hearing in Montreal. At the press scrum, Mr. Abdelrazik will speak about the struggle he faces now that he is back in Canada: to seek accountability for the injustices that he has suffered; to clear his name; and to free himself from the arbitrary measures of the UN 1267 list.

The Federal Court hearing was convened by Judge Russel Zinn in his 4 June 2009 decision directing the government of Canada to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home. Noting that he would have no trouble finding that the government had acted in bad faith in Mr. Abdelrazik's case, Judge Zinn ordered the unprecedented hearing to verify that Mr. Abdelrazik had indeed arrived in Montreal.

[url=http://yahyaottawa.blogspot.com/2009/07/advisory-abousfian-abdelrazik-ju...

Michelle

Excellent news.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:
In court, Justice Zinn made two short statements, first thanking the federal government for abiding by his ruling and providing Abdelrazik with a safe escort back to Canada.

Zinn then addressed Abdelrazik directly, acknowledging the challenges he faced as a suspected terrorist."I have no way of knowing whether you are or may be ... that may be determined by another judge or history ... but for now, I find those allegations unproven," Zinn said.

Abdelrazik remains on the UN's no-fly list, prohibiting him from future air travel outside of Canada. The no-fly list also subjects him to an asset-freeze provision, which Canadian law adheres to. This provision could prohibit Abdelrazik from getting a bank account or accepting any kind of financial assistance, including wages from a job.

"I want to come to my normal life and soon I want to remove myself from the [no-fly] list of the United Nations because this list is [unjust] and unfair and it make my life very difficult. I want to be removed from that list as soon as possible," said Abdelrazik.

Good luck with that Abou! You are screwed and condemned to a life of poverty by your own government.  

remind remind's picture

The Harper government,  apparently has found a new target for their racist ideology.

Quote:
If a passport, driver's licence, OHIP card and citizenship certificate are not enough, Suaad Hagi Mohamud is ready to give fingerprints to prove who she is.

The Toronto woman jailed in Kenya after being told she no longer looks like her four-year-old passport photo says proving her identity is easy.

"When I applied for Canadian citizenship, they took my fingerprints," the Somali-born woman said yesterday by phone from Nairobi, where she is out on bail pending trial.

"They can match them."

She has already tried to prove her identity using all her other photo ID, plus credit and bank cards as well as a Humber River Regional Hospital user card.

Her ex-husband, 12-year-old son, dozens of neighbours and her local MP – former immigration minister Joe Volpe – have all vouched for her in Toronto.

But the Canadian government does not believe her.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture
NDPP

They wanted him dead and Canada again went along it seems. These renovations and attenuations to the national security state are proceeding apace - cases like these indicate the distances travelled. The so called "rights" of citizens have been considerably abridged in the past ten years or so.They allow us to glimpse the PTB moving our fences in closer. Of course it goes without saying that since they did it to Abdelrazik or Omar Khadr or Maher Arar etc, they can most certainly do it to you or I...these processes of power and control tend to advance, especially where there is so little awareness or apprehension of threat.

This is such an important area to watch and activate against. Good it's getting a little action. Sure hope it builds..

NorthReport

Obviously Ignatieff's human rights credentials are bogus.

 

 

Canada's human rights failure
 
Abousfian Abdelrazik's detention as a suspected terrorist was Kafkaesque. Michael Ignatieff's failure to help him is shameful

 

While most of the blame for Abdelrazik's prolonged detention has been levelled at Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the reaction from the Liberal opposition leader is perhaps more damaging.

In May, Michael Ignatieff, the former director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University and a member of parliament since 2006, was officially selected as the leader of the Liberal party. In his 2004 book, Lesser Evil, Ignatieff wrote: "A war against terror can also do permanent damage to private rights. Arbitrary search and seizure, detention without trial ... expulsion of lawful aliens: all these may be part of the price a democracy pays to stamp out a terrorist cell in its midst." On reading this, Abdelrazik might have felt it was a private letter to him.

Later in Lesser Evil, Ignatieff argues that because the goal of terrorism is to turn a democracy's strengths against it, "those who have charge of democratic institutions must do their jobs. ... If a system of constitutional checks and balances continues to function effectively ... there is no reason to fear that a war on terror will lead us to betray the values we are fighting for." Luckily for Abdelrazik, the judicial branch eventually did its job.

What, then, was Ignatieff's reaction to the Abdelrazik case? Almost total silence.

On 28 June, after Abdelrazik had already returned to Montreal, Ignatieff issued a joint statement with foreign affairs critic Bob Rae. "On behalf of the Liberal party of Canada we welcome Mr Abousfian Abdelrazik back to Canada. Many questions remain regarding Mr Abdulrazik's case," it read. The statement went on to list some of those questions, but the one that many Canadians might be asking when they next go to the polls was missing: Given his past professional post and his own writing, why on earth didn't Ignatieff say anything earlier?

Harper's lack of aid for Abdelrazik damned him long ago and left Ignatieff with an opportunity to set himself apart from his political rival. In that regard, he failed.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2009/jul/21/canada-abdelrazik-ignatieff-terrorism

NorthReport

Thanks Diogenes for your persistence.

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

NorthReport wrote:

Thanks Diogenes for your persistence.

Thank you for the thank you NR.  Sometimes that all it takes for a wounded soldier to pick himself up go on to the next battle.

 

NorthReport

While I commend Diogenes, Suaad Hagi Mohamud is on her way back to Canada tonite, for goodness sakes folks, let's not let Harper get away with abdicating his responsibility for what happened here. At the very minimum the minister, is it Cannon, should be immediately fired. Who does Harper think he is kidding with a comment like this?

 

Quote:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said THURSday the federal government will get to the bottom of why Ms. Mohamud ended up stranded in Kenya

 

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/somali-canadian-caught-in-keny...

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

NorthReport wrote:

While I commend Diogenes, Suaad Hagi Mohamud is on her way back to Canada tonite, for goodness sakes folks, let's not let Harper get away with abdicating his responsibility for what happened here. At the very minimum the minister, is it Cannon, should be immediately fired. Who does Harper think he is kidding with a comment like this?

This story broke while I was on vacation.  More unbelievable than Abdelrazik. It's hard to believe that Cannon just keeps on behaving like nothing has happened.

I did start a thread with that very idea in mind but few seemed interested.

Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon should resign (or be fired)

NorthReport

Diplomat's recall does not clear air

Is it credible that Khadour, a mere official, wreaked such havoc without her superiors eventually knowing? Hardly. Is it credible that "conclusive investigations" didn't include consultations with Ottawa officials? No. If higher officials didn't know, they should have.

At Prime Minister Stephen Harper's demand, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon (who faulted the victim) and Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan are conducting probes. Canadian High Commission to Kenya Ross Hynes, too, should shed light on this fiasco.

But it's not reassuring that Mohamud's lawyer Raoul Boulakia has had to launch proceedings in Federal Court to obtain Mohamud's disputed passport and case file. What does Ottawa have to hide?

 

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/683080

NorthReport

 

Government 'mindset' blamed for abuse of our Muslims abroad

Meanwhile, the government was fighting Boulakia in court. "Can I have her file? No. Her passport? No. Why don't you do a DNA test? No. I said the government has done it in 8,000 cases. The court agreed. Once the DNA came, they were screwed."

Boulakia's experience is that when "Canadian officials make mistakes, they never, ever admit to their mistake. They close ranks. That seems to be the same behaviour in just about every case I litigate. And what they really, really hate is a lawyer turning up to question them."

As for the Harper government, he said, "it has an attitude toward Muslims abroad, a mindset, like they are dealing with second-class citizens. With Mohamud, their attitude was similarly dismissive: 'This woman, what can she expect?'"

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/683088

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/683088

martin dufresne

Re Khadour: I have seen few government goss mismanagement crises where a female underling wasn't eventually found to take the blame...

Food, Not Bombs raises the case of another Canadian, Abdihakim Mohamed, aged 25, autistic, who has been stranded in Kenya for three years, by horrible decisions on the part of Canadian authorities:

(...) Although Canadian Abousfian Abdelrazik will finally be coming home after six long years of Canadian-government enforced exile in Sudan, there remain numerous other Canadians who have been abandoned by their country while overseas.

One of them is an autistic 25-year-old Canadian citizen, Abdihakim Mohamed, who is at grave risk both in Kenya and, should he be deported to his birth country, Somalia, unless Ottawa acts immediately to repatriate him. For over three years, efforts to have him brought home have been met by a bureaucratic brick wall.(...)

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Quote:

If the Canadian government violates your constitutional rights in the name of security, here's what you do.

First, suffer for a year or two in obscurity, figurative and, often, literal. During this time, you might be detained and tortured.

Get some human-rights NGOs to send out press releases, or get your mom or spouse to make some calls or hold a sign on Parliament Hill. Hope against hope that some journalist will find the time and be granted the space to write about your story. Wait another few years for a few more journalists to pick up the thread. Getting at least one person to write and publish a book about you can't hurt.

At this point, if all goes well, you will have become a cause célèbre, although you might have missed your children's childhoods, and endangered your relationship with your spouse, and you will probably be suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome and, perhaps, physical pain. Even if you have your freedom, you probably won't have a good job.

At this point, there might be a Federal Court decision declaring that the government has indeed violated your rights, or an inquiry by a retired judge explaining exactly how that happened.

The government will, more likely than not, appeal the court decision, and ignore the recommendations of the inquiry.

This is the pattern. We've seen it over and over. Maher Arar, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad Abou-Elmaati, Muayyed Nureddin, Omar Khadr, and now Abousfian Abdelrazik.

[url=http://www.canada.com/news/When+your+country+abandons/1683794/story.html...

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Quote:

The Harper government spent more than $800,000 fighting a losing legal battle to keep Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik from coming home, according Justice Minister Rob Nicholson in a written answer delivered yesterday to the House of Commons.

...

"The total costs of the legal case on the part of the government are approximately $808,177.15," Mr. Nicholson said in a reply to NDP MP Megan Leslie from Halifax.

source

Diogenes Diogenes's picture

Abdelrazik sues for $27 million

Wow!

By the time I read this there were 309 comments. Can't read them all so I select sort by most agreed.

Looking at that list, Id' say the moderators at the G&M have been very, very busy.

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