Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace


Posted by strattof on March 17, 2011


The name “Maher Arar” is now well-known in Canada. Less familiar is the story of another Canadian–Abousfian Abdelrazik–who was also imprisoned, tortured, exiled, and blacklisted with the complicity of the Canadian government.

Abdelrazik is still not free of the shackles placed on him. For he remains on an international blacklist and continues to live under sanctions that freeze his assets, making it illegal for any Canadian to give him money–whether a gift, loan, or salary.


In 2003, Abousfian Abdelrazik travelled from Montreal to Sudan to visit his ailing mother. Once there, he was arrested and imprisoned. In 2008 the Canadian Federal Court concluded that this arrest probably took place at the request of Canada’s spy agency, CSIS.

During two periods of detention, totaling a year and a half, Abdelrazik was beaten, threatened, and tortured. He was also interrogated by CSIS officials. He was never charged.

Following his release in 2006, Abdelrazik made many attempts to return to Canada. Because his Canadian passport had expired while he was in prison, he needed a travel document. But, even though he had been cleared of all suspicion by CSIS and the RCMP, the Canadian government refused to issue one to him. 

In 2008, afraid of being rearrested, Abderazik claimed refuge in the Canadian Embassy in Sudan. He lived in the Embassy for 14 months, unable to leave the grounds, until a Federal Court order, along with public pressure, forced the Canadian government to bring him back to Canada.


Abdelrazik has been back in Canada for almost two years, but he is still not free as his name is on the UN list of suspected terrorists, placed there in 2006 at the request of the US.

The list, known as the “1267 list,” is not only a no fly list. It also imposes sanctions that prevent listed individuals from earning a salary, receiving gifts or loans of money, or maintaining a bank account. These restrictions make it impossible for Abdelrazik to rebuild his life. So, even though he has never been charged with anything, he continues to live in a prison–now one without walls.


“I add my name to those who view the 1267 Committee regime as a denial of basic legal remedies and as untenable under the principles of international human rights. There is nothing in the listing and de-listing procedure that recognizes the principles of natural justice or that provides for basic procedural fairness….It can hardly be said that the 1267 Committee process meets the requirement of independence and impartiality when, as appears may be the case involving Mr. Abdelrazik, the nation requesting the listing is one of the members of the body that decides whether to list, or equally as important, to de-list a person. The accuser is also the judge.”

                                              Canadian Court Justice Russel Zinn, 4 June 2009


On 25 January 2011, Abdelrazik submitted an individual delisting application to the 1267 Committee through the ombudsperson. Crucial to the success of Abdelrazik’s application is public support for his delisting and public exposure of the injustice and unfairness of the 1267 regime.

Project Fly Home, a grassroots organization, is calling on all Canadians who believe in justice and fairness to join a solidarity effort to get Abousfian Abdelrazik off the 1267 list. Here is what we can do

  • We can contact our MP and ask him to endorse the following short statement against the Security Council’s 1267 list:

 The UN Security Council imposes an asset freeze and an international travel ban on individuals whose names have been placed on its “1267 List.” The listing and delisting processes do not meet standards of procedural fairness or of natural justice fundamental to the rule of law. The 1267 Regime and the “Al Qaeda and Taliban Regulations”–which implement the 1267 Regime in Canada–violate rights to liberty, security and freedom of association.

CSIS and the RCMP cleared Abousfian Abdelrazik of any criminal activity in November 2007.

For these reasons I call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to 1) lift sanctions from Mr. Abdelrazik in Canada (as was done in the case of another Canadian citizen, Mr. Liban Hussein, in 2002); 2) contact the embassies of all United Nations Security Council members to inform them that Mr. Abdelrazik’s removal from the 1267 List is a diplomatic priority for Canada; and 3) revoke the unconstitutional “Al Qaeda and Taliban Regulations,” which were established by Order in Council.

To help convince your MP, you can email him the backgrounder on the 1267 list, found at

Please forward your MP’s response to

  • If your MP can’t be convinced, contact the Foreign Affairs critics of all three opposition parties, asking them to sign the statement.
  • Join the Abdelrazik-Project Fly Home Facebook group. It is a way to deliberately and publically associate with Abdelrazik, as well as to keep in touch with the campaign to get him delisted. 

MPs                                                                Foreign Affairs Critics    

Roy Boughen:     Paul Dewar, NDP:

Tom Lukiwski:      Jean Dorion, Bloc:

Andrew Scheer:  Bob Rae, Liberal:

Ralph Goodale:


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