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Bashir Mkhtal....

Canada asked to use aid as lever to free arrested man

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With a report from Canadian Press

Canada should use its aid to Ethiopia as a lever to force the government to release a Canadian held there as part of an alleged anti-terrorism "rendition" program, the man's lawyer says.

The Department of Foreign Affairs, meanwhile, acknowledged yesterday for the first time that Bashir Makhtal, who came to Canada as an 11-year-old refugee from Somalia, was being held in Ethiopia after being arrested in Kenya.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 17:53

Are U.S. agents putting the heat on Canadian?

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Lawyer, family say man among suspects interrogated at secret prisons

April 04, 2007
Debra Black
staff Reporter
Anthony Mitchell
Associated presser

A former Toronto resident is believed to be among hundreds of suspects from 19 countries who have been interrogated by CIA and FBI agents hunting for Al Qaeda militants at secret prisons in Ethiopia, a country notorious for torture and abuse.
Human rights groups, lawyers and several western diplomats say hundreds of prisoners — including women and children — have been transferred secretly and illegally in recent months from Kenya and Somalia to Ethiopia, where they are kept without charge or access to lawyers and families.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 17:49

Refuses to admit to lawyer that man is being detained in his country

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Refuses to admit to lawyer that man is being detained in his country

March 28, 2007
Debra Black
Staff Reporter

Lawyer Lorne Waldman met with the Ethiopian ambassador in Ottawa yesterday to discuss the detention of a Canadian citizen and felt like he did when he tried to free another Canadian – Maher Arar – from imprisonment in Syria.

"It was very strange," said Waldman of his meeting with the Ethiopian Ambassador, Getachew Hamussa Hailemariam. "I don't know why he agreed to meet us. I felt I could have been talking to the Syrian ambassador about Maher Arar – using innuendo to justify the unjustifiable."
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 17:33

Ethiopian official claims no knowledge of Toronto man allegedly in custody

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OTTAWA (CP) - The Ethiopian government says it doesn't know whether a former Toronto man is being held in an Addis Ababa jail, despite reports he has been imprisoned for weeks.

The Ethiopian Embassy said Wednesday that chaos in the East African country has prevented officials from determining the whereabouts of Bashir Makhtal.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 17:42

The story of Bashir Makhtal

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Bashir Makhtal is a Canadian citizen. He has been held illegally in Ethiopia without charegs or trial SInce January 2007. He urgently needs the intervention of Canadian officials at the highe levels. Please send an email to to Prime Minister Stephen Harper at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it calling on him to intervene immediately to save Bashir Makhtal.
Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 19:06

Page 8 of 9

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.