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Pressure mounts to bring Abdelrazik back to Canada

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Abousfian AbdelrazikExpect to see more coverage tomorrow of the unfolding saga of Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Sudanese Canadian that the Globe and Mail revealed has been blocked from returning home to Montreal from Sudan for five years.

Abdelrazik’s lawyer, Yavar Hameed, will be holding a press conference at 11am May 8th with various representatives of Quebec human rights organisations, including Beatrice Vaugrante, Secretary-General of Amnistie Internationale Canada (Francophone section), at 11am, to call on the Canadian government to swiftly repatriate his client. (Full text of the press release after the jump)

In 2003, Abdelrazik was arrested in Sudan while visiting his mother, apparently at the behest of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) who suspect him of links to alleged terrorists. It’s important to note that Abdelrazik has not been charged with any crime, not even when detained by the Sudanese police.

Serious questions are being raised about why the government has refused to renew Abdelrak’s passport, and comparisons are growing to the case of Maher Arar, the Canadian who was whisked away to Syria against his will and tortured while imprisoned there.

Press Advisory

Quebec human rights organizations join lawyer of Abousfian Abdelrazik in
call to bring Montreal man home

Press Conference
Thursday, 8 May, 11am to 11:30am
1710 Beaudry, room 2.7, Montreal (Beaudry metro)

Speakers:
-   Mme. Beatrice Vaugrante, Secretary-General, Amnistie Internationale
Canada (Francophone section)
-   Me. Denis Barrette, Spokesperson, Ligue des droits et libertés
-   Me. Yavar Hameed, lawyer of Mr. Abdelrazik
-   Imam Salam Elmanyawi, President, Muslim Council of Montreal

Quebec human rights organizations are joining the call to repatriate
Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Montreal man whose name may take its place alongside
Maher Arar, Abdullah Almalki, Ahmad El Maati and Muayyed Nureddin in a
growing list of victims of a Canadian version of 'extraordinary rendition'.

Documents obtained under the Privacy Act seem to indicate that Mr.
Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, was incarcerated in Sudan on the request of
Canadian officials. While in prison in December 2003, he was interrogated by
the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), despite Canadian doubts
about Sudan's human rights record. Mr. Abdelrazik was held without charge
and eventually released. Since his release in July 2006, he has been blocked
from returning home to Montreal.

For the first time, all of the documents obtained under an access to
personal information request will be made available to journalists.

Serious and unanswered questions are raised about the role played by
Canadian officials in the affair. Since the story became public, government
statements have failed to clarify the situation. Mr. Abdelrazik was granted
'temporary safe haven' in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum but, on Friday
was denied access to his legal counsel and to journalists.

Mr. Abdelrazik's family, based in Montreal, has not seen him for more than
five years, when he left to visit his mother in Sudan. They remain hopeful
that they will be reunited soon.

-30-

Media contact: 514 222 0205

Written by Tim McSorley

May 7, 2008 at 11:33 pm

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