Free Abousfian Abdelrazik from the Prison Without Walls

Posted: February 5, 2010 in Uncategorized

The following is an important message from Project Fly-Home which I am reproducing in full:

Abousfian Abdelrazik meets the press in Montreal on his return to Canada on Saturday, June 27, 2009. Photo: Tatiana Gomez

Abousfian Abdelrazik meets the press in Montreal on his return to Canada on Saturday, June 27, 2009. Photo: Tatiana Gomez

Delist Now!: Six-Month Campaign to Free Abousfian Abdelrazik from the
Prison Without Walls

June 27th will mark the one-year anniversary of Abousfian Abdelrazik’s return to Canada after six years of forced exile and imprisonment in Sudan. Though this anniversary is something to celebrate, many challenges remain for Mr. Abdelrazik and the broader fight against oppressive “security” measures and racism. Mr. Abdelrazik is home, but not yet free and the fight against the UN 1267 regime and for a normal life for Mr. Abdelrazik has only just begun.

The UN 1267 List, which has included Mr. Abdelrazik’s name since 2006, subjects individuals to a flight ban, an arms embargo and a complete asset freeze. These restrictions are severe and indefinite. Listed individuals face vague allegations, have no right to a hearing before they are placed on the list, and are provided with no evidence to support the claims against them. The Federal Court wrote in its June 2009 decision on Mr. Abdelrazik’s case, “There is nothing in the listing or de-listing procedure that recognizes the principles of natural justice or that provides for basic procedural fairness.” (For more information, please read our backgrounder on the 1267 List.)

Project Fly Home invites you to join us over the next six months as we wage an intense campaign focused on two specific demands, which we hope will help move us towards the abolition of the 1267 List and challenge the racist national security agenda as a whole. If this campaign is successful, Mr. Abdelrazik will be able to mark this upcoming one-year of his return with his fundamental rights and freedoms restored, and will be able to move on and live his life in dignity.

The two demands this six-month campaign will make of the government are:

[1] Immediately lift the domestic sanctions on Mr. Abdelrazik

In 2002, Canada changed the Al Qaida and Taliban Regulations (the domestic legislation implementing the 1267 regime) to exempt Mr. Liban Hussein, the only Canadian then on the 1267 list (for more information on Mr. Liban Hussein, see the paragraphs in this article. We demand that the government do the same for Mr. Abdelrazik, or otherwise take action to immediately free him from the sanctions in Canada, ideally repealing the regulations entirely, to be consistent with basic principles of justice and Canadian and international human rights law.

[2] Actively advocate to delist Mr. Abdelrazik from the UN 1267 List.

Though the Canadian government asked the UN 1267 Committee to remove Mr. Abdelrazik’s name from the 1267 List in 2007, it is very difficult to get off the 1267 List once you are on it. There are, in fact, dozens of dead people on the list. Delisting requires the consensus of all members of the committee. Thus, each member of the committee can block a delisting request, and is not required to provide any reason for doing so. This leads to decisions that seem to have much less to do with the individuals in question than external political objectives. The Canadian government must champion Mr. Abdelrazik’s case to the Committee, by clearly making it a diplomatic priority in their relations with the members of the committee, in order for him to be delisted.

In the next six months, Project Fly Home Montreal will be organizing a number of actions and events in the context of this campaign. Please stay posted for more details! Please plan your own actions to support this campaign in the lead-up to the first anniversary of Mr. Abdelrazik’s return to Canada.

To get involved, for more information, or to inform us of your plans to support this six-month focused campaign, please contact us at projectflyhome@gmail.com.

Project Fly Home’s six demands are endorsed by:

  1. Advocacy Collective (Fredericton, NB)
  2. Apatrides Anonymes
  3. Boundary Peace Initiative from the B.C. Southern Interior
  4. CAIR-CAN – Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations
  5. Canadian Arab Federation
  6. Canadian Labour Congress
  7. Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)
  8. Canadian Unitarians for Social Justice
  9. Coalition contre la répression et les abus policiers
  10. Common Cause – Hamilton
  11. Council of Canadians – Montreal
  12. Council of Canadians | London
  13. El-Hidaya Association
  14. Fredericton Peace Coalition
  15. Immigrant Workers Centre
  16. Indigenous Solidarity Committee
  17. New Brunswick Public Interest Research Group
  18. NSPIRG (Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group)
  19. OPIRG Carleton
  20. People for Peace London
  21. People’s Commission Network
  22. PINAY
  23. Pointe Libertaire
  24. Project Fly Home
  25. QPIRG Concordia
  26. Soeurs Auxiliatrices
  27. South Asian Women’s Community Centre
  28. Students for Sustainability – St Thomas University
  29. Students for Sustainability – University of New Brunswick
  30. Sudbury Against War and Occupation
  31. The Calgary Committee in Support of Abousfian Abdelrazik
  32. Ziba Kazemi Foundation
  33. Canadian Peace Alliance
  34. No One Is Illegal Ottawa

* To add your organization to this list, please read the sign-on statement and email your organization’s name in English and French to projectflyhome@gmail.com.

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