“Sounds eerily similar to the case of Abousfian Abdelrazik, who was stranded in Sudan. Better be extra careful if you want to leave the country… They might not let you back in!”
The lawyer for a Canadian woman stranded in Kenya said he will file a motion in Federal Court on Tuesday, asking the federal government to issue an emergency passport so she can return home after a DNA test confirmed her identity. Kenyan immigration officials said her facial features looked the same, but her lips looked different than those of the person in the passport photo, according to a document from Kenyan authorities. Canadian officials in Kenya confiscated her passport and concluded she was an impostor. The Canadian government later wrote to the Kenyan government informing officials there that it had done a thorough investigation and determined her to be an imposter and recommended that she be prosecuted. Kenyan officials charged her with identity fraud, and Mohamud’s court case began in May but was put on hold pending the DNA test, Boulakia said. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/08/10/kenya-canadian-dna.html?ref=rss&loomia_si=t0:a16:g2:r4:c0.0890762:b27086318
Neither the Canadian minister of public safety Peter Van Loan nor Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, who has responsibility for managing all consular cases involving Canadians in need of help abroad, have commented on the case since Mohamud’s identity was confirmed through a DNA test that showed she was a 99.99% match with her son. PM Stephen Harper lately only is asking for a full accounting of the actions in this case for review.
Mohamud, a Somali-Canadian, was branded an impostor by staff of the Canadian High Commission in Kenya because she did not resemble her passport photograph. Yesterday at the Canadian high commission office, Canadian consular officials continued to treat Mohamud with indifference, a friend who drove her there said. When Mohamud asked if Canada might help her retrieve her luggage, seized when she was unable to pay her room bill while trying to prove her identity, consular officials refused, the friend said. The case highlights the often-puzzling approach the Conservative government takes when deciding which citizens imprisoned or stranded in foreign countries are entitled to high-level help. Trade Minister Stockwell Day, for instance, requested clemency this summer for a 24-year-old Canadian sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia, but the government abandoned a convicted killer from Alberta sitting on death row in Montana. For the few Canadians who do get Ottawa’s help, dozens of pleas go unanswered, say advocates and lawyers for citizens who get into tight situations abroad. “What I find most disturbing is that Canadians are possibly being judged in absentia by an Orwellian jury comprised of the Canadian cabinet,” said Dan McTeague, the Liberal MP for Pickering-Scarborough East who was tasked with handling cases of citizens in need of help abroad under prime minister Paul Martin. The trend of picking which Canadians get access to help and which don’t has put the government on a collision course with courts. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/680809
Emergency travel documents are being readied for a Canadian woman whose DNA test has proven she is not an imposter and should not have been stranded in Kenya for months. Mohamud, 31, hasn’t been allowed to return to Toronto since mid-May when she tried to leave Nairobi following a two-week visit with her mother. In an interview with CBC News on Tuesday, she said she is angry at the Canadian government for the way it handled her case. “My Canadian High Commission told me that I’m an imposter,” Mohamud said. “They wouldn’t believe me. “Of course I’m mad at them.” Mohamud’s ordeal began when Kenyan immigration officials said her facial features looked the same, but her lips looked different than those of the person in the four-year-old Canadian passport photo, according to a document from Kenyan authorities. The High Commission of Canada in Nairobi confiscated and voided her passport, told Kenyan government officials a thorough investigation determined Mohamud was an imposter and recommended that she be prosecuted. Mohamud, who was born in Somalia, has said that she lost a lot of weight in the four years since her passport photo was taken. She showed the Kenyans other pieces of Canadian identification and offered to be fingerprinted. But she was charged with identity fraud and spent eight days in jail before she was released on bail. Mohamud alleges she was being pushed to offer bribe money to be allowed to get on the plane to return home and she refused to pay. Mohamud’s lawyer, Raoul Boulakia, said the federal government should review how Canadian diplomatic missions behave when citizens go to them for help. “I’d hate to be stuck in some country and call my embassy for help and get a reaction like this,” he said. Boulakia said his client is an example of a disturbing trend, that of Canadians who are stranded overseas with no support from Ottawa.
”Well, it seems like that this government sees some Canadian citizens as second-class citizens,” he said. “They seem to treat it almost as if, ‘You deserve whatever happened to you and why should we be helping you?’” “I don’t think I would be travelling outside of Canada if I were a person of a visible minority. Harper and his minions of “other” haters just might leave you outside. The proof is very plain to see. Beware and be careful, the Canada we once knew no longer exists.” “What a disaster. I can’t imagine how furious I’d be in her shoes.”
“To all the people that have suggested that she’s at fault for not having her documents updated since she lost a fair bit of weight, have you considered that she had to show these same documents to get on the plane to get out of the Canada in the first place, in order to get over to Africa? If these documents were suitable at that time, why aren’t they suitable on the return? Come on folks, let’s try to be sensible here. She did nothing wrong.”
Stranded woman awaits dismissal of charges Toronto Star - Missing her son, her home Still trapped in Kenya, Canadian Suaad Hagi Mohamud simply wants to get home and see her son. The Star’s Michelle Shephard obtained an exclusive – and emotional – interview in person in Nairobi.
Stranded woman coming home Toronto Star - Canadian citizen Suaad Hagi Mohamud hugs her mother outside of the Nairobi High Court after a judge dismissed a case against her, clearing the way for her to return to Canada.
Woman detained in Kenya suing Ottawa for $2.5M CTV.ca - A Canadian woman stranded for almost three months in Kenya over false claims that she was an impostor is now suing Ottawa for $2.5 million for her ordeal.
Surviving Kenyan prison ordeal Toronto Star