Canada

Help me get off no-fly list, Abdelrazik asks MPs

Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Sudanese-born Canadian man, asks members of the Commons foreign affairs committee to help him get off a United Nations terrorist no-fly list.

A Canadian man told members of Parliament on Wednesday that he wants to get his name off a UN terrorist no-fly list.

Abousfian Abdelrazik appears at an unofficial meeting of the House of Commons foreign affairs committee in Ottawa on Wednesday. ((Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press))
Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Montrealer, made his case before an informal meeting of the foreign affairs committee. The meeting was not official as Parliament is prorogued until March 3 and government MPs did not participate.

Abdelrazik said he wants to know "why my name is in this position," referring to the United Nations' 1267 List. 

"I need to know," Abdelrazik said.

The list places a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo on individuals listed as associates of al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

Abdelrazik said he has no idea how he got on the list in the first place, and last summer he asked the ministers of foreign affairs and public safety to help him get off it.

"They asked me to go to the United Nations website and to do that by myself, and for the individual it is extremely difficult to do," Abdelrazik said.

Under questioning from committee members, Abdelrazik denied have received any form of terrorist training and denied having associated with any political movements or groups.

Abdelrazik was visiting his ailing mother in Sudan in 2003 when he was arrested on suspicion of having ties to terrorists and being an associate of al-Qaeda. The Sudanese-born man claims he was tortured during two stints in custody — one lasting 11 months and the other, nine months.

He was eventually freed, but his name remained on the no-fly list, and he couldn't get a passport to replace the one that expired while he was in custody in Sudan.

He spent a year living in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum until a Federal Court judge ordered the government to bring him home earlier. He returned to Canada at the end of June 2009.

In September 2009, Abdelrazik launched  a lawsuit against the federal government, and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, alleging his right to freedom and security of the person was violated. He is seeking $24 million from the government and $3 million from Cannon. The suit is still before the courts.

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