Ottawa trying to get Montrealer off UN terrorist list: report
Last Updated: Friday, May 2, 2008 | 10:54 AM ET
Canada has been trying to get a Montreal man stranded in Sudan because of alleged links to al-Qaeda off a United Nations list of suspected terrorists, according to reports.
According to an April 18 letter written by the Department of Foreign Affairs to the lawyer of Abousfian Abdelrazik, Canada has "transmitted our support for Mr. Abdelrazik's delisting request to the 1267 Committee."
The letter, obtained by the Globe and Mail, was written by Sean Robertson, the senior foreign affairs official in charge of Abdelrazik's file.
The UN Security Council's 1267 Committee, also known as the the al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions Committee, established a blacklist for anyone associated with al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or the Taliban. The resolutions imposed an asset freeze and travel ban on anyone on the list.
Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier said Abdelrazik is on that list.
"Mr. Abdelrazik is not able to return by his own means because he is on the United Nations list of presumed terrorists and he is suspected of being affiliated with the Taliban or with [al-Qaeda leader Osama] Bin Laden," Bernier said earlier this week.
Abdelrazik, a dual citizen of Canada and Sudan, was detained in Sudan in 2003 while visiting his mother and spent close to two years in prison there. He hasn't been allowed to return to Canada because his name is on a no-fly list and he is unable to get a new passport.
Abdelrazik took temporary refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum on Monday
Bernier has not commented on the specifics of his case, saying only the matter is being examined by government officials.
But the Foreign Affairs letter, which calls for his removal from the list, appears to be at odds with the opinion of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). Abdelrazik's lawyer said the spy agency suspects his client of having links to al-Qaeda.
Abdelrazik's lawyer also says Ottawa has ignored Sudan's offers to fly Abdelrazik back to Canada on its own airline. He said Ottawa could immediately issue Abdelrazik an emergency passport — his previous one having expired — and bring him back to the country on a government aircraft, but that the process has become convoluted.