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 David a line : and

Update : A response from DFAIT :

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 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".

Cross-posted at Creekside

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