Bring Abousfian Abdelrazik home

Dr. Dawg has been hammering away at this story for quite some time, and now James Bow and even Jay Currie have joined in. And I have to agree, it is getting outrageous:

The Conservative government reversed itself today and denied an emergency passport to Abousfian Abdelrazik, preventing the Canadian citizen – blacklisted as a terrorist – from flying home to Montreal.
In a terse explanation, it said Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon considers Mr. Abdelrazik a national security threat.
In a one-sentence letter, delivered this morning to Mr. Abdelrazik’s lawyers, the justice department said “the minister of foreign affairs has decided to refuse your client’s request for an emergency passport.” It cited Section 10.1 of the Canada Passport Order which says “the minister may refuse or revoke a passport if the minister is of the option that such action is necessary for the national security of Canada or another country.”
The refusal represents a complete reversal of the government’s written promise of three months ago to issue Mr. Abdelrazik an emergency passport if he had a paid-for ticket home. Mr. Abdelrazik remains stranded in the lobby of the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, where he has living for nearly 11 months, granted “temporary safe haven” by former Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier.
[…]
Mr. Abdelrazik was added to the [UN security watch list] in 2006 by the Bush administration and the Harper government previously tried – but failed – to get him delisted. Mr. Abdelrazik, a Canadian, has been cleared of any terrorist or criminal involvement by both the RCMP and CSIS, who wrote to the foreign minister confirming their findings. He remains on the UN blacklist and a separate U.S. “no-fly” list.

Bow gets it exactly right:

…If you {PM Harper] truly believe that Mr. Abdelrazik retains terrorist connections, then he should be brought back to Canada to face trial as a Canadian citizen. [I presume the authorities could at least keep an eye on him here in Canada, too – DP] If, as the RCMP and CSIS have said, Mr. Abdelrazik has no terrorist connections, then the need for him to be allowed to return home should be obvious. Either way, this case suggests that your government is no longer interested in obeying the rule of law, and that Canadians travelling abroad should be concerned that their government will no longer stand up for them, should they find themselves in trouble.

As a lawyer I believe justice must not only be done, but that it must be seen to be done, and that certainly isn’t the case with this mess.
Damian P.

4 thoughts on “Bring Abousfian Abdelrazik home

  1. Brian says:

    ” … Bow gets it exactly right:
    …If you {PM Harper] truly believe that Mr. Abdelrazik retains terrorist connections, then he should be brought back to Canada to face trial as a Canadian citizen …”
    Fair trial ? The left would scream if he was even charged . Canada’s problem is there is no mechanism to revoke a citizenship. Oh … and just what was this angle doing during his time out of Canada ?

  2. James Bow says:

    “Oh … and just what was this angle doing during his time out of Canada ?”
    (sigh). Visiting his sick mother. And then imprisoned in the Sudan. Quite possibly at the behest of CSIS, which since cleared him. Quite possibly tortured. And, since then, trying to get home.

  3. dcardno says:

    “Canada’s problem is there is no mechanism to revoke a citizenship.”
    No – nor should there be, although we could be more thorough in the scrutiny of those to whom we grant the honour. In any event, the de facto revocation of citizenship by leaving him trapped in Khartoum is no answer.

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