Monday, May 04, 2009

CSIS agents secretly interrogated Abdelrazik

in a Sudanese prison in October of 2003 after he was jailed "at the request of mysterious 'Canadian' authorities", newly released government documents show.

A February 2008 Foreign Affairs briefing note to Maxime Bernier confirms :

"We were not informed of his arrest until November 2003, when Sudanese authorities advised us he was detained at the request of the government of Canada (please see attached memo for more detail)."

Unfortunately we don't know which mysterious Canadian authority because that attached eight page memo obtained by NDP MP Paul Dewar has "every single word, including the page numbers, blacked out."

Not us, says CSIS, insisting CSIS "does not, and has not, arranged for the arrest of Canadian citizens overseas."

So how did you know he was there then? Paul Koring at the G&M reasonably asks - especially as Foreign Affairs claims not to have known he'd been arrested until a month later in November.

Later today Dewar will attempt to force a motion asking for Abdelrazik to be brought before the foreign affairs committee. The motion will fail because the Cons have shown they will go to extraordinary lengths to keep him from coming home, presumably at least in part to protect "mysterious Canadian authorities".

5pm Update : In comments, Skdadl and Frank point out that my link to Koring's G&M article is a rewrite from last night's original, which contained these two now missing additional paragraphs :

"Although the most recently obtained documents confirm another glaring discrepancy in the claims made by various government agencies involved with Mr. Abdelrazik, a review of thousands of pages of document in The Globe's possession shows that not everyone in the Foreign Affairs ministry was unaware of Mr. Abdelrazik's imprisonment.

In an Oct., 16, 2003, e-mail marked “secret,” officials of the intelligence unit of Foreign Affairs note that CSIS agents will pass on details of their then just-completed interrogation of Omar Khadr in Guantanamo and planned to “send two officers to Sudan next week to interview Abdelrazik.” "

Skdadl is reminded of Arar. Yes.

In 2002 at Bagram prison, a 15 year old Omar Khadr was shown photographs of Arar.

On January 2009 at a military commission hearing in Guantanamo Bay: "[FBI]special agent Robert Fuller told Khadr's war-crimes hearing that the young Canadian was not immediately able to name Arar, but did say he looked familiar."

He looked familiar. On such evidence hangs the lives of men.

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