Abdelrazik can't get child benefits while on terror list
Abousfian Abdelrazik speaks to the media inside Stephen Harper's constituency office in Calgary, Alta., Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Wednesday, June 1, 2011 7:02AM EDT
MONTREAL - The Quebec government has told a Montreal man that he cannot receive child-assistance benefits because his name appears on a United Nations terror watchlist.
It's the latest in an ongoing saga for Abousfian Abdelrazik, who spent six years in forced exile in Sudan including time in prison where he says he was tortured.
Despite being exonerated, he still finds himself on the UN Security Council's 1267 list -- which means Abdelrazik can't leave Canada and all of his financial assets remain frozen.
It also means he can't have a bank account, can't work and can't benefit from government programs like child tax credits.
A letter from the Quebec government furnished to The Canadian Press stated that Abdelrazik cannot receive benefits for his two children as long his name appears on the UN list.
The letter advised him to get a certificate signed by the minister of foreign affairs stating he can collect child-care benefits.
Abdelrazik said in a statement the money is for his children and they are being unfairly penalized.
"This is my children's money. The sanctions don't just apply to me, they are being applied to my kids as well. Why?" Abdelrazik said.
In January, Abdelrazik announced that he was trying for a second time to get his name stricken from the list -- a notoriously difficult process. A decision in that case is expected sometime later this summer.
Abdelrazik is also challenging the blacklisting process in Federal Court, claiming it tramples the constitutional rights of Canadians.
He was unsuccessful in a 2007 attempt to have his name taken off the list, even though he had been formally cleared of the terrorist allegations by CSIS and the RCMP.
He was exonerated of any ties to al Qaeda by the Sudanese Justice Department in 2005.
Being on the list has also meant that Abdelrazik has been unable to work.
As long as he's on the list, federal and provincial authorities continue to apply the rules against him.
"Not only is it a source of frustration, I think it just compounds the sense that he's really the subject of an injustice," said Brian Aboud, with Project Fly Home, a group that has supported Abdelrazik.
"The things that we take for granted are being denied him as a result of being listed.
"It's a constant indication that he's not in fact living a life that we qualify as free and he's not enjoying all the liberties other Canadians have."
Abdelrazik is also suing the Canadian government for $27 million for allegedly turning Sudanese authorities on to him and preventing him from returning to Canada.