Dr. Dawg

Abousfian Abdelrazik's children targeted by Quebec government

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AbdRazChild.jpg

In open defiance of the Canadian Charter of Rights, the Quebec government is denying child benefits to the children of Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik.

Readers will remember Abdelrazik, illegally marooned in Sudan for six years, tortured there (likely with CSIS complicity), and refused the right to return home until a federal court angrily ordered then-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lawrence Cannon, to issue him a travel document.

In a normal country, that—and a handsome settlement to compensate for his disgraceful treatment—would have brought closure to the whole sorry affair. Not, however, in Harper’s Canada™.

Upon his return, Abdelrazik was declared an unperson by the Harper government™, under the terms of an unconstitutional piece of legislation called the United Nations Act.

If the UN Security Council (read: the US) wants to go after someone, without anything remotely resembling due process or natural justice, and puts him on the infamous “1267 list,” Canada has bound itself to comply. So the government, which had tried its best to deny his Charter right of return to Canada, has simply left him to survive without the domestic rights that all other Canadian citizens enjoy.

The Charter, apparently, does not apply to Abdelrazik. He is not permitted to work for a living, or to have assets or a bank account.* Anyone paying him or even giving him a gift is subject to prosecution. He is Giorgio Agamben’s Homo Sacer—excluded from the law and yet perversely included at the same time.

Now Quebec, obediently falling into line, has decided to go after his children, too. They are to be denied benefits that other Canadian children are guaranteed, unless and until the United Nations Security Council approves them.

In Canada, all citizens are supposedly equal under the law. The Charter says so. But not, it seems, if you’re a Black person of the Muslim faith on a list somewhere. And not if you’re that person’s children.

Not in Harper’s Canada. Not in Jean Charest’s Quebec.

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* I stand corrected. The UN Security Council gave permission some time ago for a bank account to be set up that would permit Abdelrazik to draw basic living expenses from a bequest by his deceased spouse. I am reliably informed that just about every other month his withdrawal request is refused by a teller, and legal services are required to pry it loose.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on June 1, 2011 8:50 AM.

Schadenfreude was the previous entry in this blog.

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