FSRN: Canadian national day of action to bring Abdelrazik home

Abousofian Abdelrazik with one of his childrenAbousofian Abdelrazik with one of his children

A Canadian citizen, Abousofian Abdelrazik, remains in government-imposed exile in Soudan. Listen to this 4 minute feature report on Free Speech Radio News by visiting this link:

http://fsrn.org/audio/canada's-national-day-action-abdelrazik/4651

Script

Maher Arar is a name that has stayed in the minds of many Canadians.
Many would hope that the tale of the Syrian-Canadian, who was
intercepted at JFK airport and deported to be tortured and detained in
Syria for nearly a year, is well in the past. But Abousofian
Abdelrazik, a Canadian of Sudanese origin, is yet another name on a
list those who have suffered the now infamous practice of
extraordinary renditions.

Adelrazik, who has been living in Montreal as a Canadian citizen since
1995, went to visit his sick mother in his native Sudan in 2003. His
trip took a turn for the worse when the Canadian Secret Intelligence
Services, or CSIS, ordered the Sudanese authorities to detain him on
the basis of national security-- they alleged abdelrazik was a member of the Montreal cell of Al-Queda that supported Ahmed Ressam's effort to bomb the Los Angeles airport in 1999. He was subsequently interrogated in Sudan by CSIS, and Abdelrazik even alleges he was tortured. Now, nearly six years later, with his Canadian passport expired, he remains in exile in Sudan, even though both the Sudanese authorities and CSIS
have cleared him of all suspicions of terrorism.

This is a statement from Abdelrazik recorded on the phone from Khartoum,

[clip, Abousofian Abdelrazik, 17 seconds]
“I’m a Canadian. And so are my children. They were born in Canada. The
Prime Minister has blue eyes and white skin, and the Governor General
is a black lady. Is one of them more Canadian than the other?”

Last Wednesday, one year to the day that Abdelrazik had been living in
sanctuary in the lobby of the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, his
supporters in Montreal took to the streets to demand that the Canadian
government bring him home.

Rosemarie Whalley is a longtime activist and one of over 200 Canadians
who pooled their money together to buy Abdelrazik a plane ticket home
last month,

[clip Rosemarie Whaley (19 seconds)]
“Now the legal framework of our country is the Canadian Charter. And
the Canadian Charter clearly states that as a Canadian, you have a
right to come back to your home. Now, this gentleman is a Canadian
citizen, as am I. And if this could happen to him, could this possibly
happen to me?”

The plane ticket which Whalley and others bought for Abdelrazik, was
due to leave Khartoum for Canada on April 3. However, just hours prior to the flights departure, Abdelrazik’s
lawyers received a fax from Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Canon,
stating that DESPITE BEING LET OFF THE HOOK BY CSIS, he would not be
issued an emergency passport BECAUSE HE IS STILL ON A U.N. NO-FLY
LIST. The plane left without Adbelrazik.

Supporters of Abdelrazik who contributed money to his plane ticket
also did it as an act of civil disobedience; they could be criminally
charged under section 3 of the Al Qaida and Taliban Regulations, which
prohibits Canadians from collecting funds of people on UN no-fly
lists, as is the case with Abdelrazik.

Dolores Chew is a professor in Montreal, and another person who
donated towards the plane ticket,

[clip, Dolores Chew, 30 seconds]

“Even though it was clear that by contributing to his airline ticket,
and by having my name put out there as somebody who had done so, I was
implicating myself potentially in a way where the Canadian state could
imprison me and everyone else, this was the right thing to do. Because
it was very clear that what the Canadian state was doing, what the
government was doing was a stalling action. And every time we called
their bluff, they had little to fall back on.”

With actions taking place today in Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and other
Canadian cities, Abdelrazik’s supporters are hoping to make it clear
that they will do whatever it takes to bring him home, even if that
means buying more plane tickets. Aaron Lakoff, FSRN, Montreal.