Dear Abou: we changed our minds

Diogenes's picture

Last Thursday Justice Minister Rob Nicholson announced in the House of Commons that …the government will comply with the court order with respect to issuing an emergency passport to Abousfian Abdelrazik. The court order he refers to was a June 4 ruling by Federal Court of Canada Justice Zinn.

A website called provides a wealth of information on the Abdelrazik case, including Justice Zinn's decision. I discovered this site on the website, which has become a favorite of mine for news that doesn't make the news.

For what it's worth, a special thanks to Paul Koring of the Globe and Mail for the great journalism you have given us. Keep up the great work!

And a special thanks to Paul Dewar (NDP, Ottawa Centre) for his efforts in the House and in committee to advance Abdelrazik's case.

So now I await on news on Abou's homecoming.

May 1, 2009

On December 28, 2008, the Canadian government offered Abousfian Abdelrazik an emergency passport if he could produce a fully paid airline ticket home.[2]

This is a bit of a challenge because Abdelrazik was put on the UN Security Council's list of international terrorist suspects in 2006. Some suggest this was done at Canada's request. Those on the list have their assets frozen by member states.[1]

He has never been charged or convicted of any offence in spite of extensive interrogation and investigation by CSIS and the RCMP. They have both cleared the man. So have the Sudanese authorities. Sudan has offered to fly him home. Canada refused.

But the government keeps coming up with one lame excuse after another, changing the rules, changing the reasons.

Taking the "War On Terror" to new levels

Abdelrazik is now destitute. For the last year he has been sleeping in the lobby of the Canadian Embassy in Sudan.


But that didn't stop the The Canadian government warning that anyone offering him money for a ticket home could be charged with supporting terrorism.[2][3]

More than 160 Canadians defied that warning and together donated over $1000 and bought Abdelrazik a one-way ticket with an airline willing to fly him home.


Hours before the plane was scheduled to leave on April 3, 2009, the government informed Abdelrazik's lawyer of their new rules. The letter is shown below.

Now the government is claiming Abdelrazik is a national security threat. They want him to confess to being an al-Qaeda operative.[4]

Click on either of the pictures above to send an email. Maybe ask them what they are thinking, or let them know what you think about their recent style of governance.

cannonLetter (43K)

References and web links

[1] Terror claims trap Canadian in Khartoum, PAUL KORING, Globe and Mail, April 28, 2008
[2] Supporters defy law, buy plane ticket for Montrealer stuck in Sudan,, March 12, 2009
[3] Canadians 'from all walks of life' come to aid of Abdelrazik, PAUL KORING, Globe and Mail, March 24, 2009
[4] Abdelrazik pressed to admit al-Qaeda link, PAUL KORING, Globe and Mail, April 28, 2009
[5] Cause for all Canadian citizens to worry Globe and Mail comment, April 29, 2009
[6] The Justice Minister and the rule of law, Globe and Mail commentary, April 30, 2009
[7] Stranded and abandoned in Sudan, IRWIN COTLER, Liberal MP for Mount Royal, Minister of Justice 2003-2006, G&M online, April 3, 2009
[8] Abdelrazik questioned by Canadian agents before Ottawa knew his location: report, May 5, 2009
[9] Abdelrazik asked to appear before committee PAUL KORING, Globe and Mail online, May 5, 2009
[10] A contradiction to be explained, Globe and Mail commentary, May 5, 2009
[11] Help sought for Canadian stranded in Sudan, Isabel Teotonio,, May 5, 2009
[12] Terror is no excuse for abandoning a citizen, The Gazette, May 5, 2009
[13] Are Canadians complicit in torture overseas? By Reem Bahdi, Lawyers Weekly, May 15 2009
[14] Court order undercuts Tory policy By Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service, June 5, 2009
[15] It's Ottawa's move: Bring Abdelrazik home Irwin Cotler and David Grossman, Globe and Mail, June 10
[16] Government should listen to the courts, The StarPhoenix, June 11, 2009
[17] Some are on their own, The Economist, June 11
[18] Canadian stranded in Sudan misses plane home Joanna Smith,, June 12
[19] No passport, Canadian stays grounded in Sudan,, June 13
[20] When your country abandons you By Kate Heartfield, The Ottawa Citizen, June 12
[21] At the mercy of the government By Amir Attaran and Gar Pardy, The Globe and Mail, June 18
[22] Forgetting the rule of law: A Canadian's ordeal in Sudan By James Gotowiec and Josh Scheinert,, April 3, 2009
[23] Abdelrazik versus Harper Gerald Caplan, Special to The Globe and Mail, Friday, Jun. 19, 2009
[24] Lawyer exposes the fragility of civil rights, Saskatoon StarPheonix, June 24, (some great editorials from this Saskatoon paper)