Petition Asks Minister Kenney To Bring Family Back On Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

A petition is circulating online, asking Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney to consider bringing back a deported family to Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds

The Benhmuda family was deported to their native Libya after their refugee claim was denied in 2008, after having come to Canada in 2000 with two small children. After they were deported, their father Adel was jailed and tortured. After escaping to Malta, the family claimed asylum.

Two of the family’s youngest sons, Adam and Omar, were born in Canada and the petition was started by their former kindergarden teacher.

This case needs another look. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has requested that Canada accept the family as refugees, but even though Minister Kenney said they would be given consideration for humanitarian and compassionate grounds, they were denied again by a Canadian visa officer.

The family faces serious danger in Libya as Adel’s brother was involved with anti-Gaddafi rebels. To determine his brother’s whereabouts, Adel has been interrogated, beaten, jailed and tortured.

The letter says, “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.”

You can read the petition letter in its entirety here.


Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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