Wednesday 23 February 2011

Very Important Refugees

This post is not about Minister of Immigration Jason Kenney willfully disregarding the rule of law. Others have already scoped out and plumbed the depths of that topic.

This is about the Gaddafi⎮Kadhafi family: Papa Dicktator and his progeny - Mohamed, Seif Al-Islam, Al Saidi, Motassim Bilal (aka Hannibal) and Aisha.

Once upon a time Silvio and Muammar were tight friends - perhaps allies is the more precise term. They
agreed to work together to stem the increasing numbers of migrants seeking a better life in Europe. In addition to those leaving from North Africa, thousands more have been moving up the Red Sea from Eritrea, Sudan, Somalia and other countries. Their point of entry is Italy–specifically, the small Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies in the Mediterranean midway between Libya and Sicily.
In 2009, Qaddafi and Berlusconi made an agreement that became part of an open and often vicious campaign against migrants: Libya would try to keep them from leaving in the first place; if they got out, Italy would send them back to Libya without providing them a chance to make asylum claims.

Human Rights Watch has documented the attacks on migrants in a detailed report calledPushed Back, Pushed Around: Italy’s Forced Return of Boat Migrants and Asylum Seekers, Libya’s Mistreatment of Migrants and Asylum Seekers.
More here.

So now Gaddafi clan members are attempting to escape retribution. Aisha is on the run; the UN revoked her "special goodwill ambassador" status which means her diplomatic status has been withdrawn. A few years ago, insiders speculated she and Berlusconi had a romantic connection, albeit unconsumated because Aisha, at the age of 31, was too old for him.

The Italian Prime Minister faces serious legal problems right now; his political future hangs by a thread and a furious population would not react kindly to his decision to provide refuge to anyone fleeing Libya, whether wealthy or poor.

Aisha Gaddafi may have better luck with Jason Kenney; it's not clear that he's taken any action toward deporting members of the Ben Ali clan from Canada. He and his Cabinet colleagues appear to have *flexible* standards when it comes to enforcing policies, if deposed tyrants, their families and their ill-got assets are under consideration. Other family sponsorship applicants bereft of such privilege and wealth can wait - forever.

One word of caution: if Kenney proposes to wed Aisha for the purpose of getting laid sponsoring her father's application to enter Canada, he will have to convert to Islam in order to satisfy critics and to demonstrate the marriage is legitimate. Wonder how the ReformaTories' base supporters would react to that?

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