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Bashir Mkhtal....

Statement by Minister Cannon on Bashir Makhtal

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The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement following the sentencing of Bashir Makhtal in Ethiopia:


“The Government of Canada is extremely disappointed by the maximum jail sentence to which Bashir Makhtal has been sentenced by the court in Ethiopia.


Ethiopia Jails Canadian ONLF Rebel For Life

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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - An Ethiopian court jailed a Canadian for life on Monday after he was

convicted of membership of a rebel group fighting for independence for an ethnically Somali part of the country.

Bashir Ahmed Makhtal was born in Ethiopia but travelled to Canada as a refugee and became a citizen in 1994. He was found guilty last week on three charges related to membership of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF).


Last Updated on Monday, 03 August 2009 16:09

Canadian gets life sentence in Ethiopia on terror conviction

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Staff Reporter

An Ethiopian court has sentenced a Canadian man to life in prison on terrorism charges.Bashir Makhtal was arrested on the Kenyan-Somalia border in December 2006, and the next month was illegally delivered to Ethiopia.

The family of Bashir Makhtal told the Star this morning that the court has delivered his sentence but he would appeal.

For two and a half years Makhtal, a Canadian, has sat in a jail in Addis Ababa, professing his innocence against charges that he was involved in terrorist attacks against Ethiopia.

An Ethiopian court convicted him last week and he could have faced the death penalty.

Last Updated on Monday, 03 August 2009 20:13

Ethiopia jails Canadian for life

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A Canadian citizen has been jailed for life after being convicted of terrorism charges in an Ethiopian court.

Judges found Ethiopian-born Bashir Makhtal was a member of a separatist group fighting for independence for an ethnically Somali part of the country.

Prosecutors had wanted him executed, but the judges decided against it.

Rights groups say the prosecution failed to produce any credible witnesses and Bashir's lawyers say he will appeal against the conviction.

The Ethiopian government has denied the trial was unfair.


Ogaden Human Rights Committee's Press Releases on Addis Ababa Kangaroo Court's sentence of Bashir Ahmed Makhtal

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BASHIR AHMED MAKHTAL: ADDIS ABABA COURT’S SENTENCE: A MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE   In June 1963, the Ogaden Liberation Front was founded  by Garad Makhtal Garad Dahir, who is Mr Bashir’s grandfather.   According to his family Mr Bashir was born, in Dagah-bour, the capital of Jarar region. In his boyhood his town was burned and razed to the ground by Ethiopian government forces, and he witnessed the death of many of his close relatives and clansmen at that time.  After the destruction of his hometown, his family like many other Somali-Ogaden families fled to the neighbouring Somalia seeking safe shelter.
Last Updated on Monday, 03 August 2009 14:21

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Wife despairs for man in Ethiopia jail


Debra Black
 Staff Reporter

It is the same every morning. Asiso Osman Abdi wakes at around 3 a.m., worried about her future and the plight of her husband Bashir Makhtal.

She goes into the comfy kitchen in the home of her cousin-in-law Said Maktal and makes tea and drinks it.

Her beautiful dark brown eyes are ringed with circles, recounts Maktal, who finds her in his kitchen every morning when he wakes to say prayers.

The peace of sleep eludes her, she tells him in Somali, because she is fearful she may never see her husband again.

“To me, I feel like the Canadian government doesn’t care about my husband and his passport,” she says through a translator during an interview with the Star.

Makhtal, a Canadian citizen, is serving a life sentence in a prison in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, after being charged with multiple counts of terrorism for allegedly being a ringleader with the Ogaden National Liberation Front, an ethnic Somali group formed to fight for independence in the oil-rich region.