So Abousfian Abelrazik, the Canadian citizen who’s been stranded in Sudan since 2003, is now home. I’ve followed this case with great interest since it became public when some secret documents were leaked last year to the Globe and Mail, so it was a particular pleasure when his support committee invited the marching band to play at his public appearance before supporters and media last night in Montreal. Abelrazik seemed tired after a day and half in airplanes and airports, and perhaps a little overwhelmed to be back in Canada after six years in Sudan (the last year which was spent in the Canadian embassy), but also very happy to be with his children again and extremely grateful for all the support he’s received from across Canada. It was very touching. I was also happy to see the case widely covered in the media; the Toronto Star even sent a reporter to Abu Dhabi to interview him during the flight back to Canada.
Abdelrazik’s troubles are far from over; besides the ongoing federal court case into why he was stuck in Sudan for so long in the first place despite CSIS, the RCMP, and the Sudanese government saying they have no indication that he’s ever committed a crime, his inclusion on a UN list of suspected terrorists forces the Canadian government to seize his assets, which among other things means he can’t receive a paycheque. His team of lawyers (I counted at least four last night) have their work cut out for them. Still, it’s nice to hear some good news for a change.