*** God help you if you're black AND Muslim - the Conservative Party certainly won't do a damn thing for you (unless you're white and in a Mexican jail -- then we'll send a plane right over at taxpayer's expense). Then people complain when victims sue - spend your energy on telling the Cons not to drop the ball in the first place! Prevention is better than cure, remember? MS ***
OTTAWA–The court order that brought Abousfian Abdelrazik back to Canada after being stranded for six years in Sudan did not deliver him to freedom, the former exile says.
Speaking before an unofficial session of the Commons foreign affairs committee Wednesday, the Sudanese-Canadian pleaded for help to be removed from a United Nations blacklist.
Abdelrazik's name remains on the UN Security Council's "1267 list" – an anti-terror watch list that imposes an asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo on those listed as associates of Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
Abdelrazik was arrested in 2003 while visiting his mother in Khartoum. Despite 20 months behind bars, where he was interrogated and tortured, the Montreal man was never charged with a crime and was cleared by Sudan and Canada of suspected Al Qaeda links.
Abdelrazik and his lawyers urged the Canadian government to repeal regulations that give effect to the UN resolution that created the list – a call the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois said they'd support.
The lawyers pointed to an important decision last week by the United Kingdom Supreme Court, which struck down the British law that implemented sanctions under the "1267" list, ruling it violated the civil right of appeal before an independent and impartial judge.
Lawyer Yavar Hameed told the MPs that being blacklisted by the UN ensnares a person in a "Kafka-esque nightmare" where there is no judicial review, no way to know the "case to be met" and virtually no way to get off the list, he said.
"The difficulties still continue; it is not over," said Abdelrazik, who showed a letter from the Royal Bank of Canada, which first denied him the right to reopen a bank account because of the UN listing.
Since returning in June, Abdelrazik hasn't been able to get work and survives on friends' charity.
He said his second marriage fell apart during his exile. Now he cannot explain to his 7-year-old son why he can't take him to Disneyworld.
In 2006, the United States designated Abdelrazik as someone who poses a "significant risk of committing acts of terrorism," saying he was allied to a key lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, recruited by Al Qaeda, and attended a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan.
Under questioning by Liberal MP Bob Rae, Abdelrazik denied he ever fought in Chechnya, attended any training camps or had any kind of personal ties with any radical leaders in Sudan, or with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran said the UN "1267" blacklist is a "legal charade" that is governed by arbitrary rules, contains the names of dead people, and is designed to de-legitimize "whoever" the UN committee members want to discredit.