The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

August 11, 2009

A Canadian trapped again….



“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!”

Canadian needed DNA test before returning from Kenya

Ottawa dragging feet on repatriating Canadian

 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.

 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.   But…why did it take Harper so long? ” If his ministers actually cared they would have been doing something sooner and not saying it’s a “matter for the courts” and he would have opened his hypocritical mouth two months ago.”  ”  MINISTRIAL ACCOUNTABILITY. This means, that when somebody screws up in a given department, its the ELECTED MINISTER OF THE CROWN that takes full responsibility. The Minister is accountable to the public, NOT a low level employee. Do we blame the  Assembly Line Workers for GM’s mess? NO. We blame the CEO. Its the samething in Government.”

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. 

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.” 

“This woman was not in any trouble whatsoever until the officials for the CANADIAN airline, and then the CANADIAN consular officials, swore up and down and declared unequivocally to the police that they could prove she was not a Canadian. Except, obviously, that was all a CANADIAN lie.  She didn’t do anything wrong except travel on a legal CANADIAN passport. It’s no different from being thrown in jail in Alberta for six months for driving without a permit because the police there don’t like the photo on your Manitoba license. Except, of course, Alberta police would never do that to a white person.  Come to think of it, maybe this woman *did* do something wrong: She moved to Canada thinking this country’s government was not bigoted.”
” The conduct of the government in this case has been incomprehensible. The government has been completely disinterested in helping a Canadian citizen who has done nothing wrong. Not only that, they worked against her and put her in harm’s way. Had she been a middle class white man or woman, would they have had the same cavalier attitude?”
” God forbid Harper ever wins a majority – the peaceful and fair Canada that we once knew is disappearing for good under Harper’s CONservative agenda.”
“Fact: She’s a Canadian citizen who was treated like crap by our foreign service… the CBSA and the Foreign Affairs department.   Opinion: She would not have been treated like this if (a) we didn’t have troglodytes like Harper in charge of things or (b) she’d been white.” 
” Interesting how Harper is suddenly “concerned”, after she has had the DNA test, and there’s no ethical way to just leave her there.  What astounds me is that her passport was CANCELLED by the Canadian government, as soon as they got word that she was an impostor. So – shouldn’t they have had a look at the passport, and check it against missing passports? How can they just cancel a passport? It is a lifeline, the most valuable thing you own.  And – I don’t believe a word that comes out of Harper’s mouth, or his office’s mouth. Or any of the Reformatories. “
” Read the other article folks there is an autistic Canadian guy who has been down there stranded for 3 years because they think his ears look different …sounds like shakedown time in Kenya and the Canadian employees there are in the soup with them. How is this possible and no one fired , no one suspended , zippo…Harper get off your ..”
There clearly has been unacceptably a lot more than just an escalation of abandoned Canadians abroad by our foreign affairs department since the Conservatives and PM Stephen Harper have come into power.
I had already next complained in writing to all about 20 years ago even that Canada’s Immigration refugee system was seriously broken, and basically it was cause as I had experienced, witnessed  firsthand, that the lazy, good for nothing government civil and public servants, subordinates there now  merely had pretended to show up at work, and they mostly did not do any serious work through out the day next as well. The managers and the mostly all bad employees should have already now been fired decades ago even. So why did it take you Jason Kenney MP so long to find any of that out now and to next even do something good about it  when your own Conservative government has been now in powers for years too.
McGuinty hammers Ottawa for ignoring stranded woman “Something is fundamentally wrong when we can’t count on the Canadian government to stand up for Canadians – I’m not sure I can put it any more directly than that, “Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. Now the  People who live in glass houses need to be reminded still not to throw rocks at others, and to practice firstly what they preach unto others, for I would rather see a sermon firstly actually practiced instead of merely lip serviced.  The premier of Ontario himself  does not stand up for all Canadians now for sure too… nor for all of the people of Ontario for that matter.. or he would not let the crooked quota Ontario police, cops now and many others, such as eHealth consultants  also to fleece his flock too.
see als0

“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.

  Key Canadian minister goes M.I.A. as anger grows, If you are a citizen in trouble in a strange land, you look to Lawrence Cannon.  But actually finding the foreign minister, the man responsible for Canadians abroad, is another matter. Lawrence Cannon, charged with aiding Canadians abroad, is ‘unavailable’ as Kenyan saga drags on.  Canada’s fourth foreign minister since 2006 isn’t on vacation. He’s hard at work. A review of his agenda for the last week, as it became clear that Mohamud had been wrongfully denied the assistance that comes with her citizenship, suggests Cannon’s priorities just lie elsewhere. There was no word from Cannon on the need to get Mohamud home quickly and to right the wrongs done by Canadian officials.” Unfortunately, minister Cannon is not available for an interview,” said spokeswoman Natalie Sarafian.  An interview request sent yesterday to the minister’s office was turned down. Calls to two of his three constituency offices yielded no clues as to his whereabouts.

 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 –  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.

Canadian woman’s nightmare in Kenya nearly over Vancouver Sun

Surviving Kenyan prison ordeal Toronto Star – 580 CFRA Radio – Globe and Mail – Richmond News


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