‘Restate our position’


Paul Koring delves deeper into the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik.

The Harper government was warned shortly after it came to office in 2006 that Sudan’s notorious military intelligence agency was ready to “disappear” Abousfian Abdelrazik, a Canadian citizen, unless Ottawa allowed him to go home, The Globe and Mail has learned. Sudan wanted to “deal with this case for once and for all: we judge as significant their verbal reference to a ‘permanent solution,’” Ottawa was bluntly told by Canadian diplomats in the Sudanese capital, according to documents now in possession of The Globe.

Instead of protesting the threat or warning Sudan – a regime notorious for its human rights abuses – that Ottawa would hold it responsible if harm came to a Canadian citizen held in one of its prisons, diplomats in Khartoum were ordered by a senior Canadian intelligence official to deliver a non-committal response “notwithstanding the expected displeasure of the Sudanese.”


‘Restate our position’

  1. Disgraceful, Despicable..

    .. and I'm probably understating what I feel reading that.

  2. undoubtedly Scott.

    what could one possibly say that captures the appropriate sentiment to react to a state that is 'non-committal' over the denial of due process, torture and threatened murder of (some of) its citizens?

    this is sad and deeply disturbing.

  3. Its the colour coded citizenry system developed by DFAIT. If your skin is this shade or darker, we will ignore you when you get into trouble overseas.

    • So you are saying the bureaucrats at DFAIT have developed a 'colour coded' system? What 'shade' exactly earns you the 'ignore' status when both B Martin and Abdelrazik have been brought home?

      • As well as William Sampson who was left to rot in SA for a period of 2 years and seven months while also being tortured.

        • What Sampson and Martin have in common is that they were in jail, which complicates things for the government. Abdelrazik was not in jail; he just needed his government to help him get on a plane home. It did anything but.

          • uhm while you are accurate that Abdelrazik was not in jail, i do not think the distinction has any implication for the argument at hand.

            the point is merely that we now have a series of individuals including Abdelrazik,, Sampson, and Arar, that regardless of where/how each of these individuals were being held, were all being tortured, their health and their lives were at risk and the Canadian Government(s) of the day in each case was appallingly lackadaisical about what it was willing to do, and how quickly it was willing to do it, to protect these citizens, regardless of their ancestry and skin colour. shameful.

      • Martin was brought home basically immediately after her conviction in Mexico–the Canadian government worked to expedite her return.

        Abdelrazik was brought home a month or so after a court ordered the government to return him–a month in which the government seemed to be desperately searching for any reason to ignore or appeal the ruling, which itself followed years of legal action against a government that at best refused to aid, and at worst actively worked against, a Canadian citizen who had been cleared of accusations that, aside from his religion and skin colour, seemed to have no basis whatsoever.

        So basically, what I'm saying is that I think there's an argument to be made that the two cases are not parallel.

  4. Is it normal for diplomats to take orders from intelligence officers? Here in Ottawa there are hundreds of incredibly intelligent just-out-of-univeristy or just-into-Norman-Patterson students frothing at the mouth over the chance to work at DFAIT? Why you would want to do such a thing to your soul is beyond my comprehension.

  5. Hey, the Harperites have a base that they have to appease. You think it's easy appeasing these rednecks?