By guest blogger Alison@Creekside
“The similarities with Mr. Arar’s case are compelling. In both instances, a Canadian citizen is fingered by CSIS as a terrorist suspect. In both cases, no charges are laid in Canada. In both, the person is arrested and imprisoned abroad. In both, Canadian officials say there is little that they can do because the person is in the country of their other citizenship.”
The above is from The Globe and Mail‘s front page story in April about Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian-Sudanese imprisoned and allegedly tortured in Sudan for two years at Canada’s request. Frequently visited by CSIS officials, he was eventually cleared by Sudan of all allegations that he was a terrorist or a member of al-Qaeda and released. Sudan offered to fly him home to Montreal but Canada obstructed the deal.
Since then he has been “sheltering” and living on handouts at the Canadian embassy in Khartoum, except for that five months when he was reincarcerated after threatening to make his case to Prime Minister Martin on the PM’s visit to Sudan. Canada has refused to renew his passport or to transport him back to Canada on any of the subsequent government flights between Canada and Sudan.
The G&M; returned to Abdelrazik’s plight recently (italics mine):
“In a telephone interview Monday, Mr. Abdelrazik said he told a Canadian diplomat he was being repeatedly beaten by Sudanese interrogators in 2004 or 2005. ‘He didn’t care,’ Mr. Abdelrazik said.
Mr. Abdelrazik, who was to submit a sworn affidavit about his torture in Sudan to Federal Court in Ottawa Monday, confirmed all of the details in the draft document, including that he was interrogated by CSIS agents while in a Sudanese jail. However, the document remained unsigned because Canadian diplomats refused to deliver the faxed draft to Mr. Abdelrazik to sign.”
“Canadian government documents, which came to light in April, revealed he had been imprisoned in Sudan ‘at our request,’ meaning at the request of Canadian agents. In its response, delivered Monday, the Justice Department opted not to dispute the assertion that Mr. Abdelrazik had been imprisoned at Canada’s request, in effect conceding the fact before the court.
“The documents presented in court, coupled with Mr. Abdelrazik’s accounts of torture, suggest Canada secretly arranged for Sudan to arrest and imprison him, then sent Canadian Security Intelligence Service agents to interrogate him in a Sudanese prison while diplomats knew that he was being tortured but ignored that fact.
“Canadian diplomats in Khartoum refused Monday, for the second day in a row, to permit Mr. Abdelrazik to sign the affidavit; his signature would have made it a sworn affidavit.
“‘The matter is under litigation and we cannot comment,’ said Anne Howland, spokeswoman for current Foreign Minister David Emerson. Other senior officials said the file is actually being handled in the Prime Minister’s Office.”
I’ll just fucking bet it is. To read the anguished but impotent and self-serving hand-wringing by Foreign Affairs officials, go here:
“‘I wish I had a magic wand and make this case go away . . . I find it unethical to hold him like this in limbo with no future, no hope and all because . . . Obviously I cannot address the issue of the no-fly list . . .
“Mr. Abdelrazik ‘has reached the end of his rope, he has no money, no future, very little freedom and no hope. Should this case break wide open in the media, we may have a lot to explaining to do.'”
Well, it’s broken open now, so deal. Just send a fucking plane already.
If you can do it for Brenda Martin, you can do it for Abousfian Abdelrazik.
Bloggers, readers, start your engines.
Write a letter, make a call, send a fax to:
David Emerson, Foreign Affairs
Telephone: (613) 943-0267 or Fax: (613) 943-0219
2148 Kingsway, Vancouver, British Columbia, V5N 2T5
B.C. phones: (604) 775-6263 or Fax: (604) 775-6284
e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org or Fax: 613-941-6900
h/t to Roger in Comments at the Beav for the reminder to post this access info.
Bees, honey, vinegar, no crayon — you know the drill.