Canadian citizen Bashir Makhtal has been trapped in a nightmare of human rights violations in an Ethiopian jail for more than five years. He has been sentenced to a life prison term after a deeply unfair trial. He has been held in grueling prison conditions, in Ethiopia, and has almost certainly experienced torture and other mistreatment. His brother, imprisoned at the same time, became ill from what he suffered in prison and died as soon as he was released. His sister and other family members have had to flee to a harsh refugee camp in Kenya.
The Canadian government says it believes in Bashir Makhtal and is working to protect his rights. But after more than five years, there is very little to show for it. The Ethiopian government refuses to listen to Canada’s pleas.