Kenney stands by decision to reject Afghan intepreter

Sayed Shah Sharifi was denied a visa to Canada


Immigration Minister Jason Kenney defended the government’s decision to deny Afghan interpreter Sayed Shah Sharifi a visa to Canada on Wednesday, saying in a letter sent to the Toronto Star that Sharifi did not meet certain established criteria. The minister’s statement comes after the Star reported that Sharifi, who served Canadian troops as a battlefield interpreter during the war in Afghanistan, was twice denied a visa to immigrate to Canada. “The program I established was designed to help those who face specific, individualized threats to their lives as a direct result of having worked with Canadian troops as translators,” Kenney wrote. Sharifi, the letter noted, simply couldn’t convince immigration officials that he faced such threats. Star columnist Paul Watson, however, retorted in a column on Thursday that, “I’ve been reporting from Afghanistan since 1996, and have interviewed Taliban commanders and fighters numerous times, most recently in January 2009. I have never met a Talib, and I don’t know of any expert on Afghanistan, who would say the insurgents aren’t hunting for people like Sharifi.”

The Toronto Star

The Toronto Star

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Kenney stands by decision to reject Afghan intepreter

  1. If he is killed who will you blame then Kenney? 

  2. It is most unfortunate that Afghan interpreter Sayed Shah Sharifi who helped the Canadian military in their communications is now denied a visa to Canada. If he had not helped there would have been obvious comunication problems in the country. Like Iraq interpreters who have helped Americans they too will be targeted for eliminiation becuase of their positions as interpreters.

    What a sad day for for those who risk their lives to help Canada in a war zone.

  3. Time for a “Trading Places” remake, with Kenney in Ackroyd’s role And Sharifi in Murphy’s – but as “reality programming” rather than fiction.

  4. Sharifi may have acted as interpreter for Canadians, it does not that he that he has to come to Canada.  What’s his motive for wanting to come to Canada?

    • For G*d’s sake … there is a 90% chance that he could be killed if he stays there!

  5. We’ll need to see bullet holes in his front door before we’ll consider his case.  Good old conservative compassion.  They’ll probably blame him for his misfortune if he does get killed, after all it was his choice to become an interpreter.  Personal responsibility and all that.

    I hope for his sake that he can go to a third country that is more compassionate and sensible.

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