Foreign Affairs: pursuing all channels to protect Canadians, as long as it doesn't involve leaving the embassy compound - Macleans.ca
 

Foreign Affairs: pursuing all channels to protect Canadians, as long as it doesn’t involve leaving the embassy compound


 

Canadian freelance journalist Amanda Lindhout has been held captive in Somalia since August. In January, her Somali colleague Abdifatah Mohammad Elmi, was released. The CBC’s David McGuffin tracked him down in Kenya, where he revealed that no one from the Canadian government has been in touch since his release.

Foreign Affairs, as per usual, said it is pursuing the case through all appropriate channels  but offered no details. Apparently it feels that talking to the man who spent some six months with Lindhout and her kidnappers wouldn’t be useful or appropriate.

I wish this suprised me. Unfortunately, this chasm  between Canada’s rhetoric and action when it comes to protecting its citizens abroad is not new. As I wrote last year, despite making several chest-thumping statements about how it wants to bring the Iranian government officials who tortured and murdered Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi to justice, Canada refused the help of an Iranian dissident who had first-hand knowledge of her abuse,  and hasn’t bothered to talk to Shahram Azam, the doctor who examined her and now lives here.


 

Foreign Affairs: pursuing all channels to protect Canadians, as long as it doesn’t involve leaving the embassy compound

  1. thanks michael petrou for covering these types of stories

  2. thanks michael petrou for covering these types of stories

  3. I'm still stunned at this behaviour. Not because the CPoC cares about Canadian citizens abroad or because I expect them to feel any sense of obligation, but rather because this leaves them exposed politically.

    What do we have now, 4 examples of Canadians abandoned abroad? Five? Let's see, there was the guy on death row in the US, there's the guy on death row in Saudi Arabia, there's Abdelrazik, there's Omar Khadr and now Amanda Lindout. And I'm sure there are other examples.

    If the Cons can make a year's worth of talking (screeching?) points when Ignatieff so much as muses about tax policy, surely there's a strong story here for the opposition. I think this would resonate with Canadians and put the Cons on the defensive, while allowing the opposition to portray themselves as strong defenders of Canadians abroad. There's even an opportunity to undermine the outreach work the Cons have done with immigrant communities.

    Seems like an easy win to me. It might not work during a campaign, but if Libs need something to talk about during the attack ads, this could be a solid, policy-oriented campaign.

  4. I’m still stunned at this behaviour. Not because the CPoC cares about Canadian citizens abroad or because I expect them to feel any sense of obligation, but rather because this leaves them exposed politically.

    What do we have now, 4 examples of Canadians abandoned abroad? Five? Let’s see, there was the guy on death row in the US, there’s the guy on death row in Saudi Arabia, there’s Abdelrazik, there’s Omar Khadr and now Amanda Lindout. And I’m sure there are other examples.

    If the Cons can make a year’s worth of talking (screeching?) points when Ignatieff so much as muses about tax policy, surely there’s a strong story here for the opposition. I think this would resonate with Canadians and put the Cons on the defensive, while allowing the opposition to portray themselves as strong defenders of Canadians abroad. There’s even an opportunity to undermine the outreach work the Cons have done with immigrant communities.

    Seems like an easy win to me. It might not work during a campaign, but if Libs need something to talk about during the attack ads, this could be a solid, policy-oriented campaign.