Monday, July 27, 2009

No! Not Again?

This may not be a case that you are familiar with. This is Bashir Ahmed Makhtal. Here is a thumbnail sketch:

Bashir Makhtal lived in Toronto’s Riverdale neighborhood. He became a Canadian citizen in 1994.

He worked as a senior programmer for two of Canada’s biggest banks, Bank of Montreal and CIBC.

From 2002 until December 2006 Makhtal conducted business outside Canada, in countries such as Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates.

On December 31st, 2006, Kenyan authorities detained Bashir Makhtal while he was attempting to cross the Kenya border from Somalia. Kenya then proceeded to illegally render him to Ethiopia under extraordinary rendition laws on January 20th, 2007 and he continues to be held there to this day.

Now, this story is long so I won't drag you through it all, but here's a bit more to help understand his plight:

A community group in Ottawa has taken up the case of Makhtal, arguing that he has been denied access to lawyers and consular officials. They have called on the federal government to intervene in Makhtal's case.

Makhtal's lawyer has said Makhtal was born in an ethnic Somalian region of Ethiopia called Ogaden. He moved to Somalia at age 11, then fled the country when he was a teenager, eventually arriving in Canada as a refugee in 1991. He became a Canadian citizen in 1994 and holds no other citizenship.

Makhtal lived, studied and worked in Toronto, and also has a cousin in Hamilton, Ont.

So here is a man, or rather a boy then, who fled a region in search of a better life. He found it here, became a citizen and from everything that I have read and can gather, he went back to do business in order to make a difference. Improve the circumstances of others who did not share the same opportunity.

People who are behind him, met with the government long ago.

The Hon. John Baird showed that he is eager to help to ensure that Bashir Mukhtal is provided with fair legal representation. He also said that he will contact both the Canadian Foreign Minister David Emerson and the special envoy, Deepak Obhrai and ask them for their assistance.

Deepak Obhrai? Seriously? Again, we have this idiot mandated with a task so obviously above him, not to mention foreign to his ideology, think fact, if you wanted to use the term elitist in context, Obhrai is just the man that it would apply to. Conservatives are rather bad at recognising context though. Just saying.

But here we are. Another Canadian doing good from all I can tell, is sentenced:

Canadian man faces the death penalty after a court in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, found him guilty of three counts of being a member of a terrorist organization.

Bashir Ahmed Makhtal, 36, will be sentenced next week.
Makhtal, who was among dozens of people captured at the border between Somalia and Kenya in December 2006, was being held in a prison in Addis Ababa after being initially imprisoned in Kenya.

And what are we doing? By we, I mean Canada? Did you even know this/his story?

Come on people, come on media! Thank you for the story but much more coverage is due here.

I listened to Cross Country Check Up yesterday. This man was not the subject, but how we treat people...Canadians, was. I've never heard so many Canadians say they are ashamed of their country.

Count me in.

A community group in Ottawa has taken up the case of Makhtal, arguing that he has been denied access to lawyers and consular officials. They have called on the federal government to intervene in Makhtal's case.

Please get involved. anyway you can Write to your MP or a Lib MP that will be sympathetic. Dan McTeague, Martha Hall Findlay, Justin Trudeau, Irwin Cotler, Michael Ignatieff, Bob Rae, well, all of them really. Do it and do it now.

Big thanks to BC'er who tipped me the story today earlier today.


Cari said...

Is they key there not Somalia? I do not know why they called him a terrorist..what gives..everyone over there in Somalia that comes here to live, ends up a terrorist....what gives..boy do I feel for this man.
Am I biased or is this government more racist than most?
I have had enough!

Cari said...

I think Bob Rae would be a good one, to write to.

Anonymous said...

His story was covered this morning on CBC's The Current. Podcasts available on CBC. This morning's show podcast will be available this afternoon.

Omar said...

Another PM Communications Director bites the dust.

LOL, next!

That job ranks right up there with the Discovery Channel's 'Deadliest Catch' as being dangerous to your career and well being.