Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tories caught lying to parliament about Abdelrazik

Abousfian Abdelrazik launched a law suit against the Canadian government back in June in an effort to get home.

Abdelrazik is the Canadian citizen who has been stranded in Sudan since 2003 during which time he was arrested twice, tortured and finally released by the Sudanese who claimed they no longer wanted to imprison an innocent man.

It appears that both the FBI and CSIS have been responsible for his original detention and successive Canadian governments are complicit in failing to protect this Canadian citizen (timeline of events here).

However it is the now the Harper government that is lying about their failure to protect him.
Although ministers told the House of Commons last spring that Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, had received full consular assistance, the documents show a senior Foreign Affairs official explicitly ordered Canadian diplomats in Khartoum to stay away from the interrogation by U.S. agents.

"Mission staff should not accompany Abdelrazik to his interview with the FBI," ordered Sean Robertson in a secret cable to the Canadian embassy in Khartoum on April 3, 2007.
And what happened at this FBI interrogation.
More than a month later, the diplomats told Ottawa that the U.S. FBI agents had warned Mr. Abdelrazik (who is not an al-Qaeda operative) he would never see Canada again unless he implicated others as al-Qaeda operatives.
And sure enough he remains on the US no fly list, with Harper’s government still refusing to re-issue his passport which had expired thus preventing him from leaving the country by any means.
Officials in the office of the current minister, Lawrence Cannon, didn't respond yesterday.

Eugénie Cormier-Lassonde, a spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs, said, "We continue to provide Mr. Abdelrazik with consular assistance," but added: "As this matter is currently under litigation, we cannot comment further."
And Abdelrazik continues living in the Canadian embassy in Sudan while his daughter grows up in Montreal.

Meanwhile Glenda Hutton a white, 66 year retired school secretary from Vancouver Island has found herself on somebody's no fly list also and she isn't getting any answers either.

Maybe Jim Balsillie, co-chief executive of Research in Motion, who believes Canada needs to counter the perception that we are weak on security can use these stories.

References from the Globe here the original April Globe story here, CBC here about Glenda, and Balsille from MSN Finance here.

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