Court orders Ottawa to allow Abdelrazik to return to Canada
Federal Court judge issues landmark ruling that
Harper government has breached constitutional rights on man trapped in Sudan.
The Canadian government has violated Abousfian
Abdelrazik's constitutional rights by refusing to allow
him to return to Canada and must take steps to bring him
home, a federal court judge ruled today in a landmark
"Mr. Abdelrazik's Charter right to enter Canada has
been breached by the respondents," Federal Court Judge
Russel Zinn said in a judgment released today. "Mr.
Abdelrazik is entitled to an appropriate remedy which,
in the unique circumstances of his situation, requires
that the Canadian government take immediate action so
that Mr. Abdelrazik is returned to Canada."
The judge said that keeping Mr. Abdelrazik in forced
exiled means he is "as much a victim of international
terrorism as the innocent persons whose lives have been
taken by recent barbaric acts of terrorists."
Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon has labelled Mr.
Abdelrazik a threat to Canada and refused to issue him a
one-way travel document to return to his family in
Mr. Cannon claims that Mr. Abdelrazik poses a
national security threat because the Bush administration
put him on a UN blacklist of al-Qaeda suspects. Although
both CSIS and the RCMP have cleared Mr. Abdelrazik of
terrorist and criminal suspicions, Mr. Cannon said he
will deny him a passport or even a one-way emergency
travel document as long as he remains on the UN
Mr. Abdelrazik has been living in the Canadian
embassy in Khartoum, Sudan, for more than a year.
In his judgment, Justice Zinn bluntly tells the
government that it must give Mr. Abdelrazik a travel
document to get home.
The government is "directed to issue the applicant an
emergency passport in order that he may return to and
enter Canada," he ruled. He also gives the government 30
days to make travel arrangements and get him home.
If the government fails to have a ticket arranged
within 15 days, the judge warns that federal officials
may be hauled in to explain why.
The government could appeal the ruling to the Supreme
"We are reviewing the decision," said Catherine
Loubier, a spokeswoman for Mr. Cannon.
Supporters of Mr. Abdelrazik who have been thwarted
in their efforts to bring him hope purchased a ticket
for June 11.
Mr. Abdelrazik's lawyers were attempting to contact
him this afternoon.