Camp Abdelrazik

Bring Abousfian Abdelrazik Home!
Canadian Detained and Tortured with Canadian Complicity Still Stranded
in Sudan

Join the Toronto "Camp Abdelrazik," a day-long vigil at the offices of
Passport Canada

Planning and Working Meeting Thursday, April 23 (location TBA, let us
know if you want to come and we'll get you the details!)

Join us for a nonviolent presence outside the Toronto offices
representing the arm of the Canadian government that is refusing to
bring Mr. Abdelrazik home. The day will be full of theatrical and
colourful displays, including visits from the Wizard of Oz characters
(who know something about helping get someone home) as well as your own
creative ideas.

WHO IS ABOUSFIAN ABDELRAZIK?
Abousfian Abdelrazik is a Canadian citizen who was jailed, tortured,
and stranded for six years in the Sudan (at the request of Canadian spy
agency CSIS). Despite being subsequently cleared by the RCMP and CSIS
of any national security allegations, he is still unable to come home.
It's an outrageous situation with serious implications in an age when
undisclosed "national security" considerations trump many rights,
including the right to return to one's country. Further background is
available at (http://www.peoplescommission.org/abdelrazik.php)

WHAT IS HAPPENING, AND WHAT COMES NEXT
Despite the threat of prosecution, many people contributed to a plane
ticket to have Mr. Abdelrazik brought home on the promise from the
federal government that once a ticket was paid for, appropriate travel
documents would be issued. However, they reneged on that promise, now
declaring that Abdelrazik must somehow, from the Canadian embassy in
Sudan, extricate himself from the UN terror watch list, where his name
remains without any justification whatsoever.

Perhaps the only "national security" implication here is further
embarrassment and scandal over the role of this nation's intelligence
agencies in setting up Mr. Abdelrazik who -- like Abdullah Almalki,
Ahmad El Maati, and Muayyed Nureddin, among others -- was targetted for
torture. In all of these cases, it is not only CSIS and the RCMP, but
also Justice Department lawyers and foreign affairs officials, who are
complicit in the torture of Canadian citizens.

On May 7, lawyers for Mr. Abdelrazik will be in court in Ottawa to ask
for a mandatory order to compel the government to bring him back by
"any safe means at its disposal". This is being argued on the basis of
section 6 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states, "Every
citizen of Canada has the right to enter, remain in and leave Canada."

MAY 4 IN TORONTO: CAMP ABDELRAZIK
As a means of keeping public awareness around the issue, we are
organizing of a day-long presence ("Camp Abdelrazik") outside the
Passport Canada office on Victoria Street in downtown Toronto on
Monday, May 4, from 9 am to 5 pm. The idea here would be to have a
theatrical, highly visible presence all day long as we highlight the
upcoming court case and the ongoing abuse of Mr. Abdelrazik's most
basic rights. People can come and go as they are able, and a core group
will stay with the vigil all day long, handing out flyers, pointing
bystanders to a large timeline that we will set up, and dealing with
passersby who are quite numerous throughout the day. We call this a
camp because Mr. Abdelrazik is literally camped out in the Canadian
embassy, sleeping on a cot. (If you have a cot to bring along, the more
the merrier!)

The day will also involve a late morning walk to the offices of the
Department of Justice, with the simple demand that if what some of us
did in purchasing Mr. Abdelrazik's plane ticket was a threat to
national security, we should be charged and, if no charges are
forthcoming, ask how they can continue to justify the detention in
Sudan of Mr. Abdelrazik based on "national security" grounds. Also in
the neighbourhood is spy agency CSIS, whose request to have Mr.
Abdelrazik detained in Sudan began this nightmare six years ago.

SPIRIT OF THE DAY
In terms of the spirit of the day, Stop Canadian Involvement in Torture
organizes actions on a simple basis of unity that is deeply rooted in
nonviolence: we meet all people -- friends, opponents, police,
government officials, curious bystanders -- with a loving and open
heart, seeking to engage in dialogue, and never willing to humiliate or
disrespect their humanity either verbally or physically. We are angry,
yes, but how we transform that anger into constructive action that
makes us accessible to our opponents is, we find, a crucial part of
getting our message out and building community. For example, despite
the sometimes bossy role that police play at protests, our response is
not to start chanting at or against the police should they cause
problems for us on this day. Our goal is to seek and live out a
transformative spirit that will keep us focused on the issue at hand,
seeking to de-escalate any situation that may arise.

GETTING INVOLVED
Please let us know if you can make it for some or all of the May 4
vigil (specific times you are available to be there would be helpful).
Can you bring a special banner, play music, work on costumes? If you
can make it to our organizing/ props /banner-making meeting on the
evening of Thursday, April 23, let us know and we'll get you the
location soon.

For more information:
Toronto Action for Social Change and Stop Canadian Involvement in
Torture, (416) 651-5800, tasc@web.ca

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO BETWEEN NOW AND MAY 4
(links to all of these ideas are available on the website,
http://www.peoplescommission.org/abdelrazik.php
1. Download a petition and gather signatures to be presented in Ottawa
the first week of May
2. Send a solidarity message to Abousfian Abdelrazik
3. Write to Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, who has the power
to issue the travel documents necessary to bring Mr. Abdelrazik home.
4. If you are not in the Toronto area, organize something in your own
community (see list of local contacts on website)

Location

Passport Canada
74 Victoria Street (just north of Adelaide, south of Queen)
Toronto, ON
Canada
43° 39' 5.0148" N, 79° 22' 39.1692" W
This community event is not affiliated with Faith Connections, but we believe it to be of specific interest to young adults aged 18-39 and with a faith-based or social justice theme. However, we can be mistaken — if you're not sure this event will meet your expectations, please check with the event organizers.