OTTAWA – The lawyer for a Montreal man stranded inside the Canadian
embassy in Sudan says he has been refused an emergency passport that
would have allowed him to return home today.
The Foreign Affairs
Department apparently denied Abousfian Abdelrazik a passport on the
grounds that he is a threat to national security.
name appears on a UN international blacklist. International authorities
allege that Abdelrazik has ties to Osama bin Laden. He was arrested in
Sudan in 2003 while visiting his sick mother.
Abdelrazik has not
been charged with any crime, and he has been allowed to live inside the
lobby of the Canadian embassy in Khartoum for the last year.
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passport has expired and Canadian authorities previously told his
lawyer that Abdelrazik must pay for a plane ticket before he is issued
A group of 170 Canadians has since chipped in to buy his ticket and he was scheduled to leave Sudan today.
Ottawa had long said it would hand over his travel documents if he had
a ticket, but Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon announced last
week that Abdelrazik would first have to get his name off a UN no-fly
Meantime, opposition MPs and community activities are reacting angrily to news.
NDP MP Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre) called on Cannon to step in and assist Abdelrazik.
broken their word. They gave an assurance that he would be given a
travel document if he could purchase a ticket," Dewar told a news
conference this morning.
Dewar also raised the spectre that
racism was at play in the government's decision, noting how the
Conservative government — after much prodding — offered diplomatic
assistance to Canadian Brenda Martin when she was detained in Mexico.
this been someone with a different colour of skin with a different last
name, would there have been a different outcome? I think there would
have been," Dewar said.
Liberal MP Irwin Cotler (Mount Royal) said the government was compelled to act.
is a case where the Canadian government now is alone responsible for
the violation of the rights of a Canadian citizen that it is obliged to
protect," Cotler said.
"They must bring Mr. Abdelrazik home. Every day that goes by, that violation by the government continues," he said.