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Mohamud’s return is “first priority”

Stephen Harper vows answers to woman’s plight


 

The exile of Suaad Hagi Mohamud is nearing an end and Stephen Harper says her safe return is his government’s “first priority.” Commenting for the first time on Mohamud’s troubles in Kenya, the Prime Minister also said that a “full accounting” will be demanded of Canadian officials. “In the case of the Canadian Border Service Agency,” he said, “I know that [Public Safety Minister Peter] Van Loan is asking that organization for a full accounting of their actions in this case and we’ll obviously review those.” Mohamud, a Canadian citizen, has been stuck in Kenya for nearly three months since being accused of passport fraud.

Toronto Star


 
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Mohamud’s return is “first priority”

  1. Oh SH you staunch defender of the rights of Canadian citizens….

    Suaad Hagi Mohamud's lawyer gets it exactly right: “The really important time to stick up for her was in May, June and July,” he said. “Sticking up for her after we've got the DNA test back is a safe battle to pick.”

    Nothing more need be said.

        • Can't help but notice you're all alone here. Have you been shunned or something? :)

          • thanks sean. I think everyone is spent on the Mohamud case after Wherry's posts. not sure am just cranky from impending deadlines/tiredness or not, but i think more I am just really tired of the way that the CPC is treating Canadians abroad and its broader implications… and then trying to swoop is for the credit…really beyond the pale…

            Canadian politics is a damn frustrating sport right now.

          • No doubt about that. The Conservative caucus is such a shallow pool of talent. There are a few very notable exceptions, but even they've had to work with incredibly short leashes. I don't buy the charges of racism in this case, but I think it shows a pervasive incompetence both in managing uniquely complex crises/problems and in communication (sometimes the Conservatives are doing perfectly sensible things, but manage to bungle a straightforward explanation of that to the public).

            None of this is helped by the failure of the opposition to oppose. Where is Iggy? Where's his posse of MPs? Where's the messing with Harper until Iggy's done messing with Harper?

          • Agreed on Iggy. Same goes for Jack, but especially Iggy. I thought he had some human rights bonafides. also where the hell was Cotler. he is usually good on these.

    • At what point did Cannon get informed of this situation and was he given all the relevant / correct information?

      • July 24: After the Kenyan government agrees to delay Mohamud's trial, Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon tells reporters in Ottawa "there is no tangible proof" Mohamud is Canadian. "All Canadians who hold passports generally have a picture that is identical in their passport to what they claim to be," he says.

        http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/08/12/f-haji-m

        "Two weeks ago, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said Mohamud must try harder to prove herself: "The individual … has to let us know whether or not she is a Canadian citizen," he said.

        Asked if he would accept a DNA match, Cannon replied last week through a spokesperson: "I cannot answer a hypothetical question.""

        http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/679235

        If he was not given full info before he chose to comment it was his own fault/problem. his responsibility as minister is to become informed and to take corrective action as he deems appropriate. he certainly did not to the latter. id he did the former he did not let it affect his 'thinking'.

        • Thanks for the links. I'm still having a tough time criticizing Cannon's actions wrt this incident.

          While it is true that ultimately Cannon is responsible for his own remarks/actions and those of his department, some mistakes are likely to occur. When mistakes happen I'm interested in uncovering the sequence of events and then determining if there are changes required. scf, on a different thread has a good list of questions.

          Based on that we might be able to figure out if Cannon was acting maliciously or just out of ignorance. In my view malicious behaviour is not excusable, while poorly informed behaviour might be excusable.

          • frankly Phil I see scf's questions as being of little value to assessing the role of Cannon in this beyond did the normal process break down.

            scf is – as Cannon himself did in his public statements – trying to focus the discussion on sometimes people lie about their identity in similar instances. I have not trouble ceding that point, but to be clear it explains nothing.

            As per the links Cannon just two weeks ago said she was not trying hard enough to prove her Canadian citizenship and that there was not tangible proof that she was Canadian.

            By that point the woman put forth a massive amount -more than 12 – additional pieces of ID, finger prints and perhaps DNA (can't tel the exact day on the DNA provision). I have never ever produced that much id to enjoy the privileges of being a Canadian have you Phil?

            The pnly thing that exonerates Canon is if consular staff have purposefully withheld that info (highly unlikely).bOtherwise there is little dount that Cannon was briefed on this case at some point and should have known. at the very least should have asked about corroborating ID before he waltzed out and pronounced that she was not trying hard enough…..she was begging to come home.

            if it was malicious Cannon morally deserves time in the same cell she spent her time. if it was merely ignorance/incompetence he deserves to be shown the door. how disgusting is it that after his remarks she and her family will continue to pay taxes that support this guy's six figure salary?

          • I just have this suspicion that there is more to this story, and that the info we don't have is going to make a difference.

            I think that, to a large extent, Cannon could be a 'victim' of tunnel vision; ie when he was first informed of the case he did actually ask 'many of the right questions', but was assured that "No, this truly is a case of someone who is trying to gain illegal entry into Canada." After arriving at that (now obviouosly wrong) decision he predictably stuck by it for quite some time.

            I absolutely agree with you wrt the difficulty that I would have in a similar situation:
            – my passport photo, which is quite recent, is less accurate than I would prefer
            – I would be very hard pressed to come up with 12 pieces of ID as I tend to travel 'light'
            – I can't recall ever having a family photo or anything like that with me when I travel

            Hopefully a few more details will become available over the next few months and we will know if there is 'more to the story' or not.

          • more details would be good Phil and I am hopeful that the PM will follow through on his demand of a full accounting (though to the degree that he left it up to Cannon I am suspicious). I suspect that if she chooses to sue we would get to the bottom of this.

            and you might be right re Cannon. I dunno. But as of right now there is no info out available that makes him look anything but bad.

  2. Oh SH you staunch defender of the rights of Canadian citizens….

    Suaad Hagi Mohamud's lawyer gets it exactly right: “The really important time to stick up for her was in May, June and July,” he said. “Sticking up for her after we've got the DNA test back is a safe battle to pick.”

    Nothing more need be said.

    One question though. As far as a "full accounting" goes, does this mean we can expect a revised list that sees Cannon getting bumped from official 2IC status given he though she was just f*cking around?

  3. Oh SH you staunch defender of the rights of Canadian citizens you….

    Suaad Hagi Mohamud's lawyer gets it exactly right: “The really important time to stick up for her was in May, June and July,” he said. “Sticking up for her after we've got the DNA test back is a safe battle to pick.”

    Nothing more need be said.

    One question though. As far as a "full accounting" goes, does this mean we can expect a revised list that sees Cannon getting bumped from official 2IC status given he thought she was just f*cking around?

  4. While this govt didn't lift a finger to help Mohamud, I have to applaud the Toronto Star for their relentless coverage. If it weren't for them, her story would have never made it to the top of the news pile in terms of coverage.

    • agreed Junkie. , it awfully nice when the media is able to distance itself from 'hot or not' and truly do a great service to the citizens of the country.

      It would be interesting to do a thorough analysis of the media coverage of this series of high profile cases where innocent Canadians have to spend time unjustly imprisoned/tortured/having their rights as citizens neglected abroad (e.g., Sampson, Arar, Mohamud, Khadr, Abdelrazik, Makhtal…..the list is getting long). They present a nice continuum in terms of the nature of their incarceration, reason for it and evidence applied/ignored in their respective cases.

  5. No doubt Canadian Government failed when citizen need help overseas in paritcular Suaad Haagi Mohammad is African Canadian not to mention with Muslim background. We need to leveage technology to ensure passport authencity. We need to do dual diligent to ensure passport issued to citizen who claimed who they are. Per Consular Service Bureau operation framework, Canadian consulate will try not to help citizen using consulate service. Legitimate consulate did nothing wrong. However, does consulate office ethically applied dual diligent to help citizen when Suaad is in trouble. When the photo of passport has resonable doubt, did the consular service officer endeavoured to pursue alternate source to validate or invalidate her identity.

    Our law is based on the principle that you are not guilty until you are proved to be guilty. Unfortunately this time Suaad Haagi Mohammad has to prove she is Canadian Citizenship per Foreign Affiair Minister even she has health card, driver license and even Candian Tire money. I understand the involvment of Foreign Affiair Minister but why Public Safety minister is also involved ? Are we doing profiling or create a politcal smoke suggesting she is terrorist to rationalise Govt can be face off ? Whatever happen, someone in the Chain of Command of Consulate Service will need to be accountable. Govt needs to restore public confidence for citizen travelling overseas that Canadian Passport / Canadian Consulate have some meaning for them. Currently Conservative Government is not providing any position on this issue. May be the $2.5 million law suite from Suaad Haagi Mohammad is a good way to straight out the situation.

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