Monday, February 23, 2009

Catch-22 for a dark-skinned Canadian

The Globe and Mail's Paul Koring is hammering at the Abousfian Abdelrazik case again this morning. Abdelrazik, about whom I have posted before, is a Canadian presently marooned in Sudan. He is accused of no crime, but he's been left to twist in the wind for more than five years now by unscrupulous Foreign Affairs officials, the previous Liberal government*, and now the Harper government.

The latest wrinkle in what can only be described as procedural turpitude by the Conservative regime is to offer Abdelrazik--finally--an emergency passport to get him back to Canada. But there's a sadistic catch to it.

To qualify for the passport, he is required to present a fully-paid-for airline ticket. He has no money. The government has warned, however, that it's illegal for anyone to give him the money, under catch-all "anti-terrorist" regulations--despite his having been cleared of any terrorist connections by both the Sudanese government and the RCMP.

As Koring notes, the government had previously offered him the passport if he could obtain an airplane reservation. He did just that last Fall, but then-Minister of Foreign Affairs David Emerson and the weasels in his ministry withheld the promised document and "declined to explain."

And now this latest vicious Catch-22 by a government for whom dark-skinned "Canadians" (to use the shudder-quotes employed by Blogging Tory Raphael Alexander) evidently aren't real Canadians at all. Too bad, as I've said before, that Abousfian Abdelrazik wasn't named "Brenda Martin."

No word as yet from human rights scholar Michael Ignatieff.

*Commenter "Sitsonsix" rightly notes that Abdelrazik's predicament did not begin with the Conservatives: I have made the needed correction above. But the cruel cat-and-mouse games that have been played over the past few months are entirely the responsibility of the Harper government.

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