May 28, 2009

Solidarity Statement in Support of Abousfian Abdelrazik

The Student Christian Movement of Canada (SCM) stands in solidarity with Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian Citizen, and demands that the Canadian government allow Abdelrazik to return to Canada.

The Student Christian Movement (SCM) is an ecumenical network of student collectives engaged in spirituality and progressive social justice issues at universities across Canada. SCM Canada strives to be a healing community, embraces radical ecumenism and interreligious praxis, acts in solidarity with the oppressed, resists structures of domination, and works for justice in its varied forms and settings.

In this season of Easter, we, as Christians, remember the resurrection of Christ; an act which overturned injustice and proclaims freedom. In the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik, that transformational freedom in the face of oppression remains unrealized.

Abdelrazik has dual Canadian-Sudanese citizenship and has been in exile for six years, including one of which was spent on a cot in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon refused him a passport on the grounds of “national security,” despite the fact that he has been fully exonerated of suspicions of terrorism by the US and the UN and he has not been charged with any crime. This act denies him the right to enter, remain in, or leave Canada, guaranteed to every Canadian by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In Sudan, Abdelrazik had been imprisoned without charge and subjected to brutal treatment involving torture. Therefore, he was unable to purchase a ticket to return to Canada himself. However, Abdelrazik had planned to return to Canada April 3, using a plane ticket bought by over 200 supporters from across Canada, despite the fact that the Canadian government threatened criminal charges for anyone who aided him in this way. Yet, Abdelrazik had been promised a passport from Passport Canada if he purchased a ticket, a promise that was broken by Cannon who denied him this passport on the day he was to fly.

The Canadian government is of course aware of the torture that Abdelrazik has faced and is likely to face if he remains in Sudan. By denying him entry to Canada, they are enabling this utterly inhumane treatment to continue, making them also culpable for this act, despite not partaking directly. As the Canadian government officially denounces such practices, it is essential that Abdelrazik be allowed entry into Canada immediately.

The SCM urges all Canadians to get in touch with their MPs and Foreign Affairs Minister Cannon to demand that Abdelrazik be allowed re-entry into Canada. Additionally, the SCM encourages individuals to support the work undertaken by Project Fly Home to aid in this endeavour, including organizing creative protests on April 28 and May 5 and writing messages of support to Abdelrazik.

Therefore, as the SCM, we stand in solidarity with Abousfian Abdelrazik and all others who have been marginalized by racial and ethnic profiling and other oppressive practices legitimized by appeals to “national security,” unsubstantiated allegations of terrorism, and detention without cause.

By proclaiming God’s preferential option for the poor and marginalized, we act in solidarity with the oppressed to resist structures of domination and realize justice in this world. (SCM Living Prayer Mission Statement)

As partners in the cause of justice and societal transformation,

Passed by Consensus, April 20, 2009, by the General Board of the Student Christian Movement of Canada


New Fly Home Date Set: 12 June
Delegation Set to Accompany Abousfian Abdelrazik Home

In response to an invitation issued by the Standing Committee for
Foreign Affairs, Abousfian has re-booked his flight home for 12 June
2009. Abousfian has again asked the government to issue the travel
document he needs to board the flight (see the application letter sent
to Lawrence Cannon via his lawyer at
If he is able to board his flight, Abousfian would arrive in time to
testify in front of the Standing Committee about his six years of
exile in Sudan before Parliament closes for the summer.

Abousfian's flight home was paid for by a solidarity fund to which over
250 people and organizations from across Canada and from all walks of life
have contributed, in defiance of the risk of being criminally charged for
making a financial contribution to Abousfian, whose name was placed on
the UN 1267 "black list" by the Bush administration.

A delegation will be traveling to Sudan to accompany Abousfian home on
12 June. The composition of the delegation will be announced in the
coming days.

Abousfian has been living in limbo in the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum for
more than a year. On 3 April 2009, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon
refused him the travel document he needed to board a flight home to Canada,
after more than 100 people banded together to buy him a plane ticket home.
Cannon claimed that the UN 1267 list prevented Mr. Abdelrazik from flying
home, but the Coordinator of the UN monitoring committee for the 1267 list,
Mr. Richard Barrett, has since clarified that, "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."

On 7 May, Abousfian's legal team asked the Federal Court to order the
government to bring him home by any safe means possible. The Court has not
yet rendered its decision.


1. Please contribute financially to the delegation. Make your check out to
"Solidarité sans frontières" and mark "Project Fly Home/People's Commission"
in the subject line. Send to 1984 Le Ber Montreal QC H3K 2A7.

2. Contact Foreign Affairs Minister LAWRENCE CANNON and let him know that
you are aware that the 1267 list has an exemption that allows people to
travel home. Ask him to allow Abousfian to board his flight on 12 June and
come home.

Lawrence Cannon
Telephone: (613) 992-5516
Fax: (613) 992-6802

3. Contact the MP for your neighbourhood and ask her or him to speak
up - in Parliament, in their local newsletters, or in the media - in
favour of Abousfian coming home on 12 June. You can find your MP's
contacts via

4. Get in touch with others in your area to plan a local campaign
leading up to 12 June. See local contacts at

5. IMPORTANTLY, please send a solidarity note to Abousfian via
projectflyhome@gmail. The notes he receives from people are a lifeline
to him, and it is essential that they keep coming.

6. Ask your organization to endorse the campaign to bring Abousfian
Abdelrazik home to Canada.

Project Fly Home

Project Fly Home is an initiative of the People's Commission Network.

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