Rights Group Criticizes Canadian Embassy’s Decision Denying Visa to Reunite Egyptian Couple

Rights Group Criticizes Canadian Embassy’s Decision Denying Visa to Reunite Egyptian Couple

Sawasya Center for Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination expressed its strong condemnation for a decision by the Canadian Embassy in Cairo denying a travel permit to an Egyptian citizen Muhammad Ashraf to accompany his Canadian wife Rana Al-Husny to Canada. The embassy ignored the appeals by the wife for "the legitimate right of her husband to accompany her to Canada" according to Candian immigration laws, which prompted the wife to go on hunger strike in protest.

The Center added that the position of the embassy is not justified and requires an explanation, especially since the wife had obtained the approval of the state of Quebec, where she lives in Canada, for her her husband to travel with her, which makes it imperative that the Canadian embassy and consulate in Egypt to grant her husband a visa.

The Sawaseya Center indicated that the Embassy’s decision not only contradicts international norms and human rights convents, which gaurantee in many of its articles the freedom of movement and travel, but also contradicts with the law relating to "annex unification" in Canada, which states that: "The husband can go to the country of his wife after the approval of the state."

Sawasya Center supported the right of the wife to meet with the Canada ambassador and the Consul to obtain an explanation as to the real reasons that prompted them refuse to grant a visa to her husband, therefore separating the family and the negative impact that will have on the couple.

The Center believes that the reasons given by the embassy in this regard do not hold, claiming that the husband did not hold a wedding party and that his wife is older than him- which Sawasya calls "unconvincing" and a "personal matter" " that should not be considered as a base for denying the visa

The Center stated that Canada enjoys good relations with Egypt, and a country that represents one of the main distinations for Egyptians in the many scientific, economic and other areas. Therefore, there is always a strong desire by the Egyptians to visit Canada.

The Center warned against the effect of this incident by the embassy on the strength of the Canadian-Egyptian relations, which might make Egyptians to reconsider their travel plans to Canada.

Therefore, the Center called on the Embassy of Canada to reconsider its decision and to allow the citizen to accompany his wife to Canada, as long as this does not represent any security risk.

The Centre called also on the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to intervene with the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian Consulate in Cairo, in order to allow the citizen to travel with his wife.