Abousfian Abdelrazik: Project Fly Home

winter morning blues

Listen to:
* winter morning blues
for Abdelrazik

saxophone — Matana Roberts
piano — Stefan Christoff
recorded by Thierry Amar @ Hotel 2 Tango

Statement from Abousfian

Listen to an audio statement from Abousfian Abdelrazik on April 1st, 2009 by clicking the play button below. You can download the MP3 here.

“My name is Mick Mallon. Like Mr. Abdelrazik, I am an immigrant to Canada. I became a Canadian citizen half a century ago. Most of that time I served Canada as a teacher in the Arctic, with a five-year interlude working for the Canadian International Development Agency in Sarawak, Malaysia. I am proud of the contribution I have made to Canada. In fact, that contribution will be recognised on May 15 of this year, when I am due to be invested into the Order of Canada. I have also, through the years, extended the pride I feel in being Irish by birth to include a growing pride in being a Canadian citizen. In the last few years, however, this pride has been eroded by a series of events. There have been the Maher Arar case, the killing of Robert Dziebkanski in Vancouver airport by the RCMP, made even more shameful by the clumsy and even vicious attempts at a coverup, and now the case of Mr. Abdelrazik. For a long period, I found the government's inconsistent statements to be not only meretricious but also inexplicable. However, I have also been reading in the British press about Binyam Mohamed, whose experience eerily echoes that of Mr. Abdelrazik, and the desperate attempts by the British government to prevent the facts of his betrayal from emerging. I now have a plausible explanation for the hitherto inexplicable actions of my own government. They will do anything they can, at the expense of justice, reason and credibility, to prevent Mr. Abdelrazik's return, because when he returns the truth may come out. On my last visit to Ottawa I went to the Embassy if Ireland and acquired an application form for an Irish passport.”

Mick Mallon, Iqaluit

“I am an ordinary Canadian who desires to do unto others as I would have them do unto me. I can not stand by and not assist Mr. Abdelrazik in his time of need. If I don't assist in whatever way I can, I might just as well tear up my United Church of Canada membership and stay home on Sundays. I hope and pray that Mr. Abdelrazik is returned to Canada on April 3 as is planned.”

Rob Vanderheyden

“Although I grew up believing that Canada is built on values of inclusiveness, egalitarianism and decency, Stephen Harper recently stated that his political philopsophy is constructed around freedom, family, and faith. Yet his government's treatment of Mr. Abdelrazik is in direct opposition to all of these values. Mr. Abdelrazik's freedom was terminated when he was arrested at Canada's request, and Mr. Harper's government is essentially holding him him in the confines of its embasssy, threatening anyone who tries to help and refusing to issue him a travel document. His family has been left fatherless in Montreal for six years; his faith in Canada and all we stand for as a nation has been betrayed and his religious faith held against him. Mr. Harper is the worst kind of hypocrite, a Prime Minister who will conciously violate the constitutional and human rights of a citizen of our country. Why? Because he is black? Muslim? from a poor country originally? Freedom, family, and faith -- but only for some Canadians! I donated to Mr. Abdelrazik's plane fare because I am utterly appalled at this treatment of a fellow citizen, and believe that if our government won't uphold our rights, then we cannot sit back and accept that state of affairs.”

Moira Gracey

“I think it is disgraceful the way the Canadian government has treated Mr. Abdelrazik and I'm ashamed that the government continues to play games with this man's life. The UN rules clearly allow people on the no-fly list to return to their countries of citizenship. The Canadian Charter of Rights also guarantees this right. Mr. Abdelrazik has been cleared by the RCMP, CSIS and the Sudanese government. The Canadian government has no other excuses, now, but to let Mr. Abdelrazik come home, NOW!”

Lynn Carlile, Communications, Energy and Paperworkers' Union of Canada, Local CULR-1, Ottawa

"I am a Canadian citizen--just like Abousfian Abdelrazik. I am profoundly embarrassed by and ashamed of my government and its racist, illegal actions against my fellow-citizen. Like countless others who remember what the word 'Canadian' means, I won't stop working until we achieve his repatriation--and a change of government."

John Baglow

“I believe that the conduct of the federal government has degraded the meaning of Canadian citizenship. It has diminished Canada's reputation as a country that respects human rights and upholds its own best traditions. I could not bear this without protest.”

Cy Strom

“I cannot say it better than Martin Luther King: ‘...a time comes when silence is betrayal. We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy. No document from human hands can make these humans any less our brothers and sisters.’ ”

Susan Breeze, Barriere, British Columbia

“Abousfian is a Canadian citizen and deserves all that citizenship entails, including the right not to be tortured, to return to Canada, and to practice his religion as he chooses. Because the Canadian government has failed, and continues to fail, to ensure these rights are provided equally, it is our duty as Canadian citizens to act. We will not be silent; we will not allow our government to establish a system of two-tiered citizenship.”

Phoebe Smith, Halifax

"I am disgusted by the behaviour of our government on this issue. I demand that Minister Cannon uphold the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom to ensure the swift repatriation of Canadian citizen Mr. Abousfian Abdelrazik."

Wendy (Pol) Goldsmith, Social Worker

“In our Parliamentary tradition. since 1628. in the reign of Charles I, the Crown has been obliged to accept a Petition of Right from citizen's to justify the legality and appropriateness of government's actions with regard real or personal property. As a principle, a Petition of Right may be applied to the treatment of fellow citizens denied their rights by government. The Crown begins its response to the Petition by proclaiming, "Let right be done." The Harper government has an over-riding legal or moral responsibility not to grant the wishes of any foreign power at the expense of the civil rights of a fellow Canadian. This is the obligation that I impose on Mr. Harper's government in the case of Mr Abdelrazik.”

Terry Walker, Citizen, Toronto

“As a person who devotes his professional life to the study of the ethical issues raised by immigration and citizenship, I am appalled and ashamed by my government's efforts to prevent one of its own citizens from returning home.”

Joseph Carens

"The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, believes he has the right to deny Abousfian Abdelrazik his rights as a Canadian citizen. He is mistaken. He has, temporarily, only the power to do so. The distinction, apparently lost on the Minister, is a defining characteristic of a democratic society."

David Hare

“My Canada does not torment its citizens. My Canada is a country where the rule of law applies, where one is innocent until proven guilty. My Canada is governed in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. My Canada will allow Abousfian Abdelrazik to come home on April 3rd.”

Wilf Ruland (P. Geo.), Dundas, Ontario

“It is unconscionable for the Canadian government to refuse to bring home one of our citizens. Mr. Abdelrazik is a Canadian citizen who, like Maher Arar, has been abysmally mistreated on the basis of CSIS misdoings. Has the Harper government no sense of shame?"

Betty Freeman

“If the Canadian government can do this to a Canadian citizen, then what is Canadian citizenship worth?"

Elizabeth Block

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