Dr. Dawg

UN Security Council: Taliban, yes; Abousfian Abdelrazik, no?

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Abousfian Abd.jpg

Unbelievably, the UN Security Council is poised to remove senior Taliban officials from its infamous “1267 list“—while Canadian citizen Abousfian Abdelrazik’s children are being denied social benefits by the Quebec government because the UN Security Council has not given its assent.

Real Islamic extremists, in other words, may be about to get a pass. It certainly appears to be under serious consideration. But a fellow-citizen, exiled, imprisoned, tortured, and never charged with anything at all, remains an unperson, not permitted to be employed in Canada or to receive gifts.

Abdelrazik isn’t even allowed to travel by air within Canada.* When he returned from six years of illegal exile imposed by the Canadian government, landing in Toronto, he was prohibited from flying on to his home in Montreal. And, as noted, his children have become targets of the state as well.

A delegation from the progressive People’s Commission Network will shortly be making a presentation to the UN Security Council officials responsible for maintaining the 1267 list. Why has this been left to a group of grassroots volunteers? Why isn’t Abdelrazik’s own government advocating on his behalf, state to state, as it were?

Indeed, the Harper government™ once asked for his de-listing in 2007 after CSIS and the RCMP (finally) gave him a clean bill of political health, but the Security Council, which requires unanimity to delist anyone, refused. After that, the government reversed its course:

His ordeal - described as Kafkaesque by the federal court judge who ordered him repatriated - is far from ended. But the Harper government made it clear that Mr. Abdelrazik couldn’t expect any support in his efforts to remove his name from the UN list.

Foreign Minster Lawrence Cannon, in a letter delivered Thursday, told Mr. Abdelrazik to check out a UN website that explains delisting procedures for individuals. “I regret to inform you that I must decline your invitation to meet,” the minister wrote.

It was Mr. Cannon who labelled Mr. Abdelrazik a threat to national security, in spite of the fact that he had been cleared by CSIS and the RCMP. Mr. Cannon made no mention of the fact that the Harper government had already sought - in December of 2007 - to have Mr. Abdelrazik delisted after the security agencies said they had knew of no reason not to back the request.

Targeting a dark-skinned Muslim is good political red meat to throw to conservatives, after all. One imagines Abdelrazik wandering among us with a “T” branded on his forehead. But with these latest developments, the position of the government—already defending itself against a Charter challenge and a multi-million-dollar lawsuit—might just possibly have received its coup de grâce.

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* I am incorrect on this point. A correspondent who knows writes: “He is not on the no fly list, but is on the ‘watch’ list. This means he has to show up at the airport hours before flight time and wait while they check with every official. Very frustrating and he has missed more than one flight, but he can fly.”

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on June 5, 2011 11:44 AM.

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