More than 100 Canadians have donated money for airfare and exposed themselves to criminal prosecution in an effort to force Ottawa to allow a Canadian citizen to fly home from Sudan, where he’s been stranded since being labeled an al-Qaeda operative by the United Nations. Most of the 115 contributors from across Canada, including university professors, teachers, lawyers, artists and farmers, have given sums of $10 or $20 to buy Abdelrazik’s $996 ticket from Khartoum to Toronto.
Abousfian Abdelrazik, 47, is lost in a legal no-man’s land. Canadian and Sudanese authorities have cleared him of being a terrorist suspect after years of questioning, imprisonment and torture. But he remains on the UN terror list at the behest of the United States, according to his lawyer. The Canadian government gave Abdelrazik “temporary safe haven” at the Khartoum embassy nearly a year ago. Foreign Affairs spokesperson Emma Welford would not say whether emergency travel documents will be issued, as promised, saying only that Canada is obliged to enforce the United Nations travel ban on Abdelrazik.
Abdelrazik, a former Montreal resident with three children and an ex-wife living in Canada, was arrested in Sudan in 2003 when he was visiting his sick mother.