Friday, May 08, 2009

Conservatives running out of excuses on Abdelrazik

OK, what's your excuse now Conservatives?

Canada is free to bring Abousfian Abdelrazik home and doesn't need to ask for permission, the UN official overseeing the blacklist of alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban suspects said Wednesday.

“Whether it is Abdelrazik or anybody else, it is up to the state in question whether they want to allow the person to come back or not,” said Richard Barrett, co-ordinator of the UN's Al-Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Team, which oversees the various United Nations resolutions establishing the blacklist on which Mr. Abdelrazik was placed at the request of Washington in 2006.

He said the travel ban exemption allowing for the return of a citizen is so clear in the UN resolutions that governments need not – and most don't – even apply for permits.

“States needn't notify the committee if somebody is going back to their own country, so we don't necessarily know of all the instances where that has happened,” Mr. Barrett said, dismissing the central claim of the Harper government as it fights Mr. Abdelrazik's return.

This is interesting, as is the fact the Conservatives on the committee abstained:

An all-party Commons committee called yesterday for Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Canadian citizen labelled a national security threat by Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, to appear before it.

"I'm convinced that this motion should allow Mr. Abdelrazik to return home, sooner rather than later," said Paul Dewar, the NDP MP who has championed the case of the only living Canadian put on the United Nations international terrorist blacklist by the former Bush administration.

The Canadian government continues to deny him travel documents, despite asking the UN to delist Mr. Abdelrazik after getting assurances from both the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and the RCMP that he posed no threat. Mr. Abdelrazik has been living in the Canadian embassy in Khartoum for more than a year.

"Passing this motion means that Mr. Abdelrazik will finally be able to come home," said Mr. Dewar. "It is critical that the government not block his return, to do so would be blocking the will of Parliament," he said.

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