Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Trapped by no fly list
This story is no joke

Abousfian Abdelrazik is a Sudanese-Canadian. He immigrated in 1990 in search of a better life as a machinist. In 2002 he flew to the country of his birth to visit his sick mother. And, against his will, he has been there ever since.

He was twice imprisoned by the Sudanese, locked up from August 2003 to July 2004 and November 2005 to July 2006, despite no charges against him. He reports he was tortured.

Apparently his name turned up on a United Nations terrorist watch list. He is suspected of ties to Al Qaeda, though no legal process has shown any connection. He may have known with some shady people at a mosque he attended in Montreal. In April 2008, still on an international no fly list, he took refuge in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum where he is still holed up. The Canadian government has been reluctant to help their citizen and no airline has been willing to book a flight for him. Abdelrazik has four Canadian children, one of who he has never seen.

There are reports that Canada's big southern neighbor may be involved in the quasi-imprisonment of this guy.

Canadian intelligence warned against allowing Abdelrazik to return over fears it could upset US officials, who also have him on a no-fly list.

The daily said Washington labeled Abdelrazik a threat on July 20, 2007 -- the same day he was released from Sudanese custody.

At one point the Canadian government said it would issue him a new passport (guess what, his old one expired while he was locked away?) but now they have backed off. Amnesty International has gotten involved.

"If there are valid security concerns in this case, deal with them lawfully and fairly through Canadian law in Canadian courts," said Alex Neve of Amnesty International.

"It is time for the government to take swift action to ensure Abousfian Abdelrazik is able to return to Canada," he said. "It is time for him to face justice, not injustice."

Not surprisingly, Canadian Muslims are very concerned about this case. If Uncle Sam fingers someone, does he drop in a black hole? Perhaps.

As a United States citizen, I find it depressing that my government is apparently pushing Canada to violate its own legal standards -- and depressing that Canada is going along.

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