- Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration
Bring the Benhmuda family back to Canada on humanitarian grounds.
The Benhmuda family needs your help to come back to Canada where they belong. In 2008, I was heartbroken to learn two of my former kindergarten students and their family were denied refugee status and deported to Libya, where their father, Adel, was immediately jailed and brutally tortured.
The Benhmuda family came to Canada in 2000 as refugees escaping Libya. Adel's brother was involved with anti-Gaddafi rebels and Adel had been beaten and interrogated by police repeatedly about his brother's whereabouts. They fled with their two small children to the safety of Canada to start a new life. In 2008, their refugee claim was denied when the Canadian immigration officer decided that Adel himself was not in danger, despite the fact that there was a warrant for his arrest in Libya. The family was deported back into the hands of the Libyan Security Service, who promptly detained and tortured Adel. The family were finally able to escape after many struggles and ended up in Malta where they claimed asylum. Since then, with the support of Canadian friends and associates like myself, we have been trying to rectify this injustice and have them come back to Canada. Canada is all the four Benhmuda children know. Adam and Omar, the two youngest sons, were born in Canada in the 8 years the family had started to rebuild their life here.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has formally asked Canada to accept the family back, and the Immigration Minister himself stood up in the House of Commons and promised that they would be given every humanitarian consideration. Yet, again their story took another harrowing turn when a Canadian Visa officer denied them again.
A Federal Court Judge has now thrown out that decision, ruling that their case was handled in a prejudicial and biased manner.
Please sign my petition to bring Adam and Omar, their two brothers and their parents back home to Canada without delay, on humanitarian and compassionate grounds and in light of the best interests of the children.
Given how we have treated this family in the past, it is the least we can do!
- Jason Kenney, Minister of Immigration
Dear Minister Kenney,
I am writing to ask you to bring Adam and Omar Benhmuda and their family back to Canada where they belong.
As a proud Canadian, I was appalled to learn that my government had deported two young Canadian children to Libya in 2008, where their father, Adel Benhmuda, was brutally tortured. I was shocked to learn that after escaping from that brutal regime Adam and Omar and their family were forced to flee Libya and spend almost a year in an open-air refugee camp in Malta, and
that our government declined to help them unless the United Nations got involved! What’s worse is that, even after the UN got involved and formally asked Canada to bring the family back to Canada, and you stood up in the House of Commons to promise that they would be given “every humanitarian consideration”, one of your officers still went ahead and refused their request.
That decision has now been overturned by the Federal Court, and you have been ordered to make a new decision within 90 days.
As a Canadian citizen, I call on you to step up and do the right thing: bring Adam and Omar, their brothers Muawiya and Mohamed, and their parents back to Canada without delay, on humanitarian and compassionate grounds and in light of the best interests of the children. Given how we have treated this family in the past, it is the least we can do!
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