Downtown Khartoum. Might be an interesting place to visit, but Abousfian Abdelrazik doesn't want to be forced to live here.
Abousfian Abdelrazik -- a Canadian citizen blacklisted as a terrorist -- is still stuck in Khartoum, living on the charity of the Canadian embassy. In 2003, he flew to his native Sudan to visit his ailing mother, was fingered by some Canadian police outfit as a terrorism suspect, and jailed and brutalized by Sudanese authorities for 19 months before they tossed him out without charges. By then, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service were smarting with embarrassment over their misconduct in sending Maher Arar to be tortured; they cleared Abdelrazik.
But somehow, the spooks' finding of innocence didn't mean he could return to Canada. He was told that the U.S. had put him on a UN watch list -- and he should get himself off somehow. Later, the line was that the Canadian government would only renew his passport if he could schedule a flight -- but airlines won't sell a ticket to a person on the UN list. When supporters finally found an airline that would carry him, the government changed its requirement, insisting that they wouldn't give him a travel document without a fully paid ticket. And it threatened people who offered to buy him one with prosecution for aiding a terrorist. Several hundred Canadians chipped in; he was supposed to fly home today -- but instead the government curtly faxed a note to his lawyer, claiming a right to
What other country, this jaded U.S. citizen wonders? A broad cross section of Canadians are disgusted. They cry racism.
To be continued, Mr. Abdelrazik and many other Canadians hope...