Friday, January 6, 2012


Article from the Montreal Gazette below should be a warning to all Canadians: do not travel to Saudi Arabia.  This is not the first instance of an incident where a Canadian citizen gets into trouble in Saudi Arabia as a result of their customs and laws.

Quebec woman says Saudis blocking trip home to Canada

 Under Saudi law, Nathalie Morin needs her husband’s permission to leave Saudi Arabia with her children.


Nathalie Morin has been trying for six years to persuade her husband to let her leave Saudi Arabia and return to Quebec with her three children.
Her husband, Said Al Bishi, agreed in November to allow Morin to come home only after the Canadian government issued him a temporary visa so he could accompany them, Morin claims.
But the Quebec woman says she has run up against another obstacle. She says the Saudi government has blocked her travel plans by refusing to issue passports to her three children, one of whom was born in Canada.
Morin, 27, sent an email to media organizations across North America this week asking Ottawa to intervene on her behalf.
“We are ready to travel to Canada together, but the government of Saudi Arabia has refused to give passports to our children,” she said in the email.
Morin claims that Saudi officials have put her three children on a “national blacklist since 2009.”
Under Saudi law, Morin needs her husband’s permission to leave the country with her children.
Morin met Al Bishi in Montreal in 2001. The couple had a child together in 2002, but Al Bishi was deported to Saudi Arabia that year for being here illegally.
After two visits to Saudi Arabia, Morin moved there in 2005 to try to build a happy family life for her son, but the situation soon turned ugly.
Morin, who lives in Dammam, some 400 kilometres from the capital, Riyadh, says she is held captive indoors, deprived of food and beaten.
Her mother, Johanne Durocher, has been waging a battle to bring her daughter and grandchildren back to Canada.
Canadian diplomats in Saudi Arabia met last June with Morin after she was arrested as she left the apartment to get water and food for her children after her husband left them locked up for two days with few supplies.
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs in Ottawa would not comment on Morin’s accusation’s. However, spokesperson Aliya Mawani did say that “consular officials in Riyadh continue to assist Morin, while respecting the Saudi legal framework.”
“Foreign Affairs ... cannot comment on governmental matters pertaining to Saudi Arabia,” Mawani said. “However, we do note Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in assisting Ms. Morin’s family in its current situation.”
A spokesperson for Citizenship and Immigration Canada said privacy laws prevent them from confirming whether Morin’s husband has been granted a visa to come to Canada.

No comments: