United Nations requests Saudi man’s deportation by Ottawa be stopped

The Saudi Arabian Embassy is shown in Ottawa, Canada
The Saudi Arabian Embassy is shown in Ottawa, Canada

Hours before he was set to be deported Wednesday morning, the United Nations has asked the Canadian government not to expel a Saudi Arabian man to his home country.

Omar has been held in a Laval, Que., detention facility pending his deportation, which was scheduled for Wednesday morning. He has been detained since July 26.

Omar’s real name has been withheld due to his concerns for safety of family members, who are still in Saudi Arabia.

He had returned to Canada with his wife and two young sons, who have filed asylum claims and haven’t been at risk of deportation.

A Federal Court judge denied a stay of removal Tuesday afternoon on the grounds that Omar had withdrawn an asylum request in Canada last year.

The United Nations high commissioner for human rights wants the removal slated for Wednesday morning stopped.

In a letter sent to Omar’s lawyers, the UN says it has asked the federal government not to send him back to Saudi Arabia until it has examined his case.

Omar came to Canada in the spring by way of Roxham Road, which is at the New York border, with his wife and two sons. The family filed asylum claims, but Omar’s claim was rejected outright because he had withdrawn a previous claim.

Omar told CBC he had to withdraw his first asylum claim because his wife was detained in Saudi Arabia and he needed his passport back to return to his home country.

However, Federal Court Judge Roger Lafrenière has since stated refugee claimants are not allowed to file another claim once they withdraw.

The judge upheld the deportation decision, stating Omar didn’t provide any documentation to back up his claim that he would be in danger should he return to Saudi Arabia.