In the May edition of the Canadian Immigration Newsletter, Attorney David Cohen blogged about a Canadian citizen who has been stranded in Sudan for six years as an al-Qaeda suspect.
Abousfian Abdelrazik, a 47 year old from Montreal, Quebec, was arrested and detained while visiting his mother in Sudan in 2003. He has been living in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum for the past year.
Though the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP have both cleared Abdelrazik of any terrorist connections, the Conservative government will not issue him travel documents to return to Canada because his name has been added to a UN Security Council list, which bans travel for terrorist suspects.
His case was before the Canadian courts when Attorney Cohen wrote his blog; and a ruling has since been given.
Abdelrazik's lawyers successfully argued that his right to mobility under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has been violated by the Canadian government.
Federal Court Judge Russell Zinn ordered the Canadian government to coordinate Abdelrazik's return within 30 days.
He stated that Abdelrazik's inclusion on the UN blacklist was "no impediment" to his repatriation. UN officials have also confirmed that Canada can repatriate Abdelrazik any time it wishes, regardless of his inclusion on the list.
Zinn wrote that Abdelrazik is a "prisoner in a foreign land" and "as much a victim of international terrorism as the innocent persons whose lives have been taken by recent barbaric acts of terrorists."
Abdelrazik's lawyers stated that several groups, including the Canadian Council on American Islamic Relations and the Canadian Postal Workers Union, have already purchased a plane ticket for him and have offered to accompany Abdelrazik on his trip back to Canada.
Speaking for the Conservative Government, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson said that government lawyers would be reviewing the decision before deciding what would be done.