CBCnews
Story Tools: EMAIL | PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK | Bookmark and Share

Supporters defy law, buy plane ticket for Montrealer stuck in Sudan

Abousfian Abdelrazik remains on UN anti-terror blacklist

Last Updated: Thursday, March 12, 2009 | 1:30 PM ET

A group supporting a Montrealer once labelled an al-Qaeda operative has bought the man a plane ticket to return to Canada, in defiance of federal law.

Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen who was been detained in Sudan, is seen in this undated family photo. Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen who was been detained in Sudan, is seen in this undated family photo. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press) More than 100 Canadians have donated money to pay for a ticket for Abousfian Abdelrazik, the 47-year-old arrested and detained in Sudan during a visit in 2003.

Authorities released him after finding no evidence to support any charges of links to terrorist organizations.

However, because his passport expired while he was in prison, Abdelrazik has been stuck in Sudan ever since.

Canadian authorities have told him they will not issue him new travel documents until he buys a plane ticket, something he says he cannot afford.

His supporters decided to buy the $1,000 ticket for him, running afoul of Canadian law. Abdelrazik's name remains on a United Nations anti-terror blacklist, despite a request by Canada to have him removed.

Under Canadian law, it is illegal to financially support anyone on that list.

The maximum penalty for anyone found guilty of the offence is 10 years in jail.

Donations came from students, artists, politician

Contributors include professors, labour representatives, artists, filmmakers, students and human rights advocates. The list includes Warren Allmand, a former solicitor general of Canada in the 1970s who is currently a municipal councillor in Montreal.

'This plane ticket strips away another excuse the government has used to prevent my client from returning home.'—Yavar Hameed, Abousfian Abdelrazik's lawyer

Yavar Hameed, Abdelrazik's lawyer, said the people who donated the money know they risk imprisonment for doing so.

He called the gesture a powerful one, and asked the Canadian government to issue his client an emergency passport before the plane is scheduled to leave on April 3.

"This plane ticket strips away another excuse the government has used to prevent my client from returning home," said Hameed at a press conference Thursday in Montreal.

Dominique Peschard, president of the Quebec-based Rights and Liberties League, said the Canadian government is violating Abdelrazik's rights by denying his return to Canada.

Detention followed family visit

Abdelrazik was visiting his ailing mother in Sudan in 2003 when he was arrested for alleged terrorist links.

Sudanese investigators found no evidence to support criminal charges and released him. Abdelrazik alleges he was tortured during his detention.

The RCMP have also said there is no information linking Abdelrazik to criminal activities.

He has been living in the lobby of the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum for nearly a year.

    Story Tools: EMAIL | PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK | Bookmark and Share
     

    Montreal Headlines

    Montreal student sounds alert over planned U.K. school attack VideoAudio
    A student at Montreal's Concordia University says he was proud to play a role in helping to stop a school attack in the United Kingdom this week.
    Family sues Quebec City police over Italian student's death
    The family of an Italian immigrant who died in police custody in Quebec City plans to take legal action against the local police force.
    Quebec judge promises quick ruling in listeriosis settlement Video
    A Quebec Superior Court judge says he will decide quickly if a $25-million settlement deal can go ahead between Maple Leaf Foods and victims of last year's deadly outbreak of listeriosis.
    French or English should be required for immigrants: minister
    Immigrants who can't speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship, a federal cabinet minister says.
    Sherbrooke University replaces youngest rector with first female
    Law professor Luce Samoisette will become the first female rector of the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec since its formation in 1954.

    Canada Headlines

    Teen guilty of 1st-degree murder in death of Stefanie Rengel, 14 Video
    A collective gasp erupted in a Toronto courtroom Friday as a teen girl was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Stefanie Rengel.
    Broken mounting stud found in N.L. helicopter wreckage Video
    Investigators found a broken mounting stud Friday in the wreckage of the helicopter that crashed off the coast of Newfoundland last week, a problem detected previously in Sikorsky helicopters.
    Judge rejects bid to delay Mulroney-Schreiber inquiry
    A judge has rejected Brian Mulroney's bid to delay the start of an inquiry into the former prime minister's dealings with businessman Karlheinz Schreiber.
    French or English should be required for immigrants: minister
    Immigrants who can't speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship, a federal cabinet minister says.
    Police fatally shoot knife-wielding man in downtown Vancouver
    A Vancouver police officer shot and killed a man on Friday after he refused orders to drop a knife and advanced on police, a police spokeswoman said.

    People who read this also read …

    Top CBCNews.ca Headlines

    Headlines

    4 Canadian soldiers killed, 8 wounded in Kandahar Video
    Four Canadian soldiers were killed and eight others injured in two separate bombings outside Kandahar City on Friday.
    Broken mounting stud found in N.L. helicopter wreckage Video
    Investigators found a broken mounting stud Friday in the wreckage of the helicopter that crashed off the coast of Newfoundland last week, a problem detected previously in Sikorsky helicopters.
    Nortel bonuses approved by courts Video
    Courts in Ontario and Delaware gave Nortel Networks permission on Friday to pay retention bonus money to eight senior executives while the company restructures under creditor protection.
    Teen guilty of 1st-degree murder in death of Stefanie Rengel, 14 Video
    A collective gasp erupted in a Toronto courtroom Friday as a teen girl was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Stefanie Rengel.
    French or English should be required for immigrants: minister
    Immigrants who can't speak English or French well enough should be denied citizenship, a federal cabinet minister says.

    News Features