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.

US, Afghanistan seek to remove Taliban figures from sanctions list

US, Afghanistan seek to remove Taliban figures from sanctions list

Project Fly Home calls on Canada to press Security Council to delist Abdelrazik

Montreal, 6 June 2011 -- In light of recent news from Afghanistan, Project Fly Home is calling on the Canadian government and NDP opposition to press the Security Council to remove a Canadian man from its sanctions blacklist. The Guardian reported from Afghanistan late last week that Britain and the United States are seeking to remove key Taliban figures from the Security Council's sanctions blacklist as part of a political rapprochement with the Taliban.

"It's absurd. Here we have a Canadian living in the Montreal neighbourhood of Ville St-Laurent, who has no connections to Taliban or Al Qaida, but whose government has done nothing evident to remove him from this punitive blacklist. Meanwhile, Afghanistan is taking steps to remove real Taliban figures," said Cory Legassic, who is part of Project Fly Home, a group that has supported Mr. Abdelrazik's struggle for justice since 2008.

"This exposes the sanctions regime for what it is - a political tool; war by other means. Political opponents are placed on the list or removed as suits the strategies of the US, the UK and the other powerful members of the Security Council," said Legassic. "It seems that Abdelrazik is nothing more than 'collateral damage' to the high-level diplomats and politicians who make these decisions."

This will not be the first time that the Security Council has delisted top Taliban figures to advance political negotiations in Afghanistan. In July 2010, five Taliban figures - including the Taliban's Minister of Foreign Affairs, its Internal Minister and its envoy to the UN pre-2002 - were removed from the list in this way.

The news came just days after Mr. Abdelrazik spoke out about the fact that Quebec has refused his family child assistance benefits because his name appears on this blacklist. The sanctions are imposed indefinitely and include an asset freeze, which means that it is illegal in Canada to give Mr. Abdelrazik any financial support, whether a loan, gift, salary or social assistance.

"Because of this regime, a single father in Montreal is prevented from working to support his kids and is refused child assistance benefits to which he is perfectly entitled," said Legassic.

In mid-June, the Security Council is slated to examine a new set of reforms in a bid to save its sanctions regime, which has been the focus of mounting criticism on human rights grounds. The latest assault came from eleven "like-minded" states who co-signed a letter to the President of the Security Council on 6 April 2011, calling for reforms to the delisting and listing processes and for some limited powers to be granted to the Ombudsperson. Although the proposed reforms are timid, the signatories are notable for including the Chair of the 1267 Committee, German Ambassador to the UN, Peter Wittig.


More information:
Interviews: 514 222 0205 Project Fly Home - People's Commission Network

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