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Bashir Mkhtal....

Lonely battle to free relative held in Ethiopia

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By Dana Borcea
The Hamilton Spectator(Apr 19, 2007)

Said Maktal of Hamilton has waged an exhausting and often lonely battle for information about his cousin who disappeared in Africa more than three months ago.

He has hired lawyers, petitioned politicians and spent countless hours glued to his computer hunting for clues. The father of two has sacrificed work, sleep and time with his infant daughter and newborn son.

He says he has no choice. His cousin's life is on the line and family members around the
 world expect that as a Canadian, Maktal can save him.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 18:52

the case.

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Said Maktal needs Ottawa to help free his imprisoned cousin.

Bashir Makhtal chronology:

Dec. 30 -- Canadian citizen and former Toronto resident Bashir Makhtal is arrested while trying to cross the Kenyan border after fleeing the threat of civil war in Somalia. After several weeks, he is deported back to Somalia and then on to Ethiopia.

-- His cousin, Hamilton resident, Said Maktal, learns of his arrest from family in Ethiopia and begins a campaign for

information about his whereabouts and well-being.

Last Updated on Sunday, 17 May 2009 19:09

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PRESS RELEASE: Ethiopia – IHRC condemns sentencing of Canadian citizen today in Ethiopian high court

03 August 2009 

PRESS RELEASE: Ethiopia – IHRC condemns sentencing of Canadian citizen today in Ethiopian high court

The Islamic Human Rights Commission condemns today’s sentencing of Ethiopian-born Canadian citizen Bashir Ahmed Makhtal in Ethiopia’s high court. Makhtal was awarded a life-sentence for his alleged membership to the ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front), a group which is fighting for autonomy in Ethiopia’s Eastern Ogaden region[1]. Makhtal has fervently denied this charge, at one point telling the court, “in fact, I am the victim of the ONLF”. IHRC is deeply concerned over the trial’s numerous and grave irregularities, which would fail to meet even the most minimum of international human rights standards.