Baird in Ethiopia

Transport Minister John Baird flew to Ethiopia last week to help bring jailed Canadian citizen Bashir Makhtal back to Canada, the Toronto Star reported. This is the first time a Canadian minister has expressly travelled to Ethiopia to lobby for Mr. Makhtal's release, although the government has been pressing for his expatriation for months. Mr. Makhtal was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006 for being a member of a separatist group engaged in armed conflict against the government. His family has always maintained his innocence, claiming the Ethiopian government is punishing him because his grandfather was a founder of the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front.

Published: Wednesday, 02/17/2010 12:00 am EST

Transport Minister John Baird flew to Ethiopia last week to help bring jailed Canadian citizen Bashir Makhtal back to Canada, the Toronto Star reported. This is the first time a Canadian minister has expressly travelled to Ethiopia to lobby for Mr. Makhtal's release, although the government has been pressing for his expatriation for months. Mr. Makhtal was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2006 for being a member of a separatist group engaged in armed conflict against the government. His family has always maintained his innocence, claiming the Ethiopian government is punishing him because his grandfather was a founder of the separatist Ogaden National Liberation Front.

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