Montreal

Abdelrazik sues Canada over forced exile

A Quebec man stranded in Sudan for six years because the Canadian government refused to issue him a new passport is suing Ottawa for $27 million.

A Montrealer stranded in Sudan for six years because the Canadian government refused to issue him a new passport is suing Ottawa for $27 million. 

Abousfian Abdelrazik, left, at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, when he returned to Canada after a six-year exile in Sudan. ((Nathan Denette/Canadian Press))
Abousfian Abdelrazik is filing a lawsuit against the federal government, and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, alleging his right to freedom and security of the person was violated.

In the lawsuit, Abdelrazik claims the government "took numerous actions to harm him in that country."

That included arranging his arbitrary imprisonment by Sudanese authorities and "encouraging or condoning his torture at the hands of Sudanese authorities," according to the lawsuit.

As well, Canadian government officials actively obstructed Abdelrazik's repatriation to Canada for several years and "acted in bad faith and callous manner at every turn, resulting in significant physical and psychological harm" to Abdelrazik, the lawsuit alleges.

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 47-year-old 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 a United Nations no-fly list, and he couldn't get a passport to replace the one that expired while he was in custody in Sudan.

Abdelrazik became a Canadian citizen in 1995.

Abdelrazik spent a year living in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum until a Federal Court judge ordered the government to bring him home earlier this year.

He returned to Canada at the end of June.

His lawsuit is demanding $24 million in punitive damages from the government and $3 million from Cannon.

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