Document outlines Ottawa’s case for leaving man in Sudan – Abousfian Abdelrazik
THE CANADIAN PRESS
MONTREAL-A federal government document involving the case of a Canadian man trapped in Sudan states Canada would violate its international obligations by allowing him to return home – an argument his lawyers say doesn’t hold water.
Foreign Affairs issued a factum Friday outlining its position in the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik, who has been living in the lobby of the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum where he sought refuge almost one year ago.
The government document states that Abdelrazik’s listing under an international travel ban takes precedence over his right as a citizen to enter Canada.
“Section 6 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not guarantee a right to travel through other countries to enter Canada…The travel ban prohibits other states from allowing the applicant to enter into travel through their territories,” it says.
And in a later paragraph: “The requested remedy of repatriation would interfere in matters of Crown prerogative, foreign affairs and high policy and risks putting Canada in breach of its international obligations.”
Abdelrazik was arrested in Khartoum in 2003, where he went to visit his ailing mother.
His lawyers are set to appear in Federal Court next month to argue that Sec. 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms – the right of a citizen to enter Canada – has been breached and he should be flown home by whatever means are necessary.
“The government is prioritizing international law over our Section 6 right to come back to Canada, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms,” Abdelrazik’s lawyer Audrey Brousseau told The Canadian Press.
“I think these are speculative arguments about the transit to other third-party states. There’s a basic right of repatriation with (the international no-fly list) but Canada goes further and adds another obstacle and says we might need approval from other parties. This to me does not make sense.”
Brousseau said in an interview that there are numerous documented cases of people on the UN 1267 list returning home. She says one example is Abdelghani Mzoudi, a Moroccan once accused of involvement in the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
Brousseau also points to a built-in exemption to the UN’s no-fly list that allows justified transit or entry on a case-by-case basis.
“The government has create important hurdles for him to come back, so in that sense they have truly violated his rights,” she said.
“What we’re seeing here is that he doesn’t need any approval. Alternatively, if they feel he needs and exemption, then go get it.”
Short URL: http://tinyurl.com/yl2lq2b