Friday, April 16, 2010

Abdelrazik: fight the persecution!

Abousfian Abdelrazik's life savings--$10,000, a bequest from his late wife--has been effectively seized by the federal government under Canada's infamous United Nations Act. A citizen added to the UN's "1267" list is, under Canadian law, forbidden to work, receive support of any kind, or have a bank account.

Taken literally, this would have been a death sentence. But the caring of family and other ordinary people has kept Abdelrazik clothed, fed and sheltered.

Mr. Justice Russel Zinn, in his judgement ordering the Harper government to repatriate Abdelrazik, exiled in Sudan for more than six years, referred to his situation as Kafkaesque. It remains so to this day: Abdelrazik is a citizen without rights. A second-class citizen. In fact, if one takes our Charter of Rights seriously, which the Harper government plainly does not, an uncitizen.
An exile in his own country.

This targeting of a fellow-citizen by a vengeful government cannot stand. Decent citizens must act, and we have the opportunity to do so on April 28.

"Project Fly Home" was the name of the initiative taken by a number of citizens to purchase a ticket back to Canada for Abdelrazik--an illegal act. Organizers have now begun a serious sanctions-busting campaign on his behalf. From the website:

We are calling on you to restate your solidarity or join the long list of people who have defied the 1267 regime by contributing money to Mr. Abdelrazik. Your donations will support Mr. Abdelrazik personally, and the very act of donating will help challenge the oppressive "national security" logic, which creates and feeds on fear, racism and isolation.

Any time in April, send a strong message to the Canadian government:

* Step 1. Make a check or money order to the order of "Abousfian Abdelrazik" and mail it to:

CSCP Charlevoix
PO Box 65053
Montréal QC H3K 0K4

* Step 2. Fill in the blanks in the letter linked here and send it to Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon at, to inform him that you have sent money to Abousfian Abdelrazik in open protest of the 1267 regime, and calling on him to lift the sanctions from Abdelrazik without delay.

On April 28th, between 7pm and 9pm, call in to our Sanctions-Busting Telethon:

Between 7 and 9pm, call us at 877 737 4070 and let us know how much you are pledging. If you wish, you can also pass along a message of solidarity and encouragement for Abdelrazik, which will be broadcast live at the Sanctions-Busting Telethon and Spaghetti Dinner event taking place in Montreal.

Tune in to to watch the telethon broadcast live or listen to live updates on CKUT 90.3 FM.

Surely I do not have to quote the always timely Pastor Niemöller. But at this point it is abundantly clear that we, the ordinary citizens of this country, have a civic duty to stand up, not only for Abousfian Abdelrazik, but for the values that make us all Canadian.

UPDATE: The phone-in is between 7-9pm EDT. [H/t reader theo]

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