‘I expected to die in there’ – Canadian jailed in Ethiopia for 11 years


(CBC) – Makhtal was born in Ethiopia of Somali descent, and became a Canadian citizen in 1994. He was working in Somalia in Dec. 2006 when Ethiopian troops invaded. While trying to cross into Kenya to find his wife, he was detained. He was removed to Nairobi, where he contacted the Canadian Embassy. Staff came to see him — their offices were one block from where he was being held — and told him they had raised the issue and were awaiting a reply.

Two weeks later, Kenyan officials told Makhtal he was being deported to Ethiopia.

While he was being taken to the airport, his wife tried to call the embassy, he said. But it was a Saturday — the offices were closed.

“I tried to resist when the Kenyans forced me to board the plane,” he told Tremonti. “I lay down on the runway, crying and saying; ‘I’m not Somali, I’m not Ethiopian, I’m not going anywhere.'”

Makhtal asked to be deported to Canada. Instead, he was beaten brutally, he said, and put on the flight to Ethiopia.

He was placed in solitary confinement, and not seen or heard from for the next two years. […] CONTINUE READING

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