Canadian man pleads with Trudeau gov't to rescue stranded niece in Syria
Published Tuesday, July 2, 2019 3:19PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 2, 2019 4:25PM EDT
LONDON - The Canadian uncle of a young orphan stranded in a refugee camp in Syria has sent a new letter pleading with the Trudeau government to acknowledge its “moral obligation” and rescue his niece, Amira.
He has also threatened to go to Syria on his own and try to bring the child out.
“Please show some compassion for an innocent girl,” he wrote in a recent appeal to Global Affairs Canada.
“A four-year-old orphaned citizen is being detained in an open prison in the middle of the desert.”
Amira’s parents left Canada in 2014 to join ISIS. They were killed in an airstrike earlier this year along with three other siblings. Amira survived and was taken to the al-Hol camp, but little is known about her condition or whereabouts.
CTV News first reported on her situation in June.
Her uncle, who lives in Toronto and wishes to remain anonymous, says he found Canada’s response “demoralizing.” His letters to the government reflect a growing anxiety and frustration.
“The government clearly doesn’t have the will to bring my niece home,” he wrote.
“I have reached the end of my rope.”
Canada has told him Amira must undergo a DNA test to establish her status as a Canadian citizen, before she can be issued travel papers. That could take months.
At least 28 Canadian women and children are stranded in the camp and desperate to return home. Their husbands were either killed or imprisoned.
In messages to CTV News, some of the women have described the dire lack of clean water and medicine, extreme heat and dust storms, as well as the threat from snakes and scorpions. They say they are also subject to nightly raids by the Kurdish guards looking for mobile phones.
One of the families quoted an unnamed government official as saying Canada would continue to express its concern in public, but would do nothing to help.
Aimee, a Canadian woman from Alberta, recently sent a photo of her newborn son, Mohammed. She traveled to Syria with her Canadian husband and two other sons in 2014. Her first and second husbands were both killed fighting for ISIS.
In another written plea to the government, Aimee’s mother said she was extremely worried her daughter and three young children might die.
“I am begging the Canadian government to assist in their safe return to Canada.
“Other women and children have died in that camp, and I fear the worst the longer my family stays there.”