Canadian on no-fly list stuck in Sudan
OTTAWA (AFP) — The family of a Sudanese-Canadian man stuck in his birth country for five years due to terrorism allegations pleaded Tuesday for his safe return to Canada.
Abousfian Abdelrazik, 46, went to Sudan to visit his ailing mother in 2003 and has been unable to return because his name appeared on a no-fly list due to alleged links with suspected terrorists.
Abdelrazik was jailed twice in Sudan (August 2003-July 2004 and November 2005-July 2006), but no criminal charges were filed.
Lawyer Yavar Hameed, speaking on behalf of Abdelrazik's family, said at a press conference that Abdelrazik has been unable to return to Canada because Canadian authorities refused to provide him with an emergency passport, and because he has been added to a no-fly list.
"The government of Canada has landed him in a kind a legal limbo and was responsible for his detention for many months in Sudan," said Hameed, flanked by Abdelrazik's relatives.
"The government of Canada should repatriate Mr. Abdelrazik and should do so immediately," he told reporters.
"He's our father and we need him," pleaded his stepdaughter, Wafa Sahnine.
"He's a Canadian citizen and he has rights," added ex-wife Myriam St.-Hilaire, speaking for the couple's five-year-old son.
Hameed said that US officials have linked Abdelrazik to Abu Zubeida, a lieutenant of Osama bin Laden.
The Canadian Security Intelligence Service in 2002 and 2003 also scrutinized his alleged ties to Ahmed Ressam, an Al Qaeda operative found guilty of trying to bomb the Los Angeles airport in 1999. The two had met at a mosque in Montreal, where Abdelrazik lived for 13 years.
On Monday, Abdelrazik sought temporary safe haven at the Canadian embassy in Khartoum because terror allegations have put his life at risk in Sudan.
"He's too guilty to fly, but too innocent to charge," said Hameed, noting that Abdelrazik suffers from asthma, heart problems, and an ulcer, and is living on a 100 dollar monthly loan from the Canadian government.
A spokesman for Canada's Foreign Affairs department was not immediately available for comment.