MNAs demand Ottawa help woman trapped in Saudi Arabia
Published Wednesday, June 10, 2009 2:48PM EDT
Quebec MNAs have spoken with one voice, voting unanimously to demand that Ottawa help a woman trapped in Saudi Arabia.
Natalie Morin says her husband, Said Ramthi Al Bishi, won't let her leave Saudi Arabia with her three children, all of whom are Canadian citizens.
Under Saudi law, separated or divorced mothers may live with the children, but fathers have sole legal custody.
Morin told CTV News in April that she and her three children are held captive indoors, deprived of food and beaten. A medical report says her eldest son, Samir, is sick, anxious and developmentally delayed.
Mom wages fight
Morin's mother, Johanne Durocher, first went public about her daughter's situation last year.
She played a taped phone call in which a tearful Nathalie pleaded to be allowed to bring her children home. Durocher has enlisted the help of constitutional lawyer Julius Grey and she's considering federal court action.
Opposition MPs say the Morin case is among many examples of the Conservative government's failure to protect Canadians who are in trouble overseas.
Consular officials say they can't do anything because Morin needs her husband's permission to take the children outside of Saudi Arabia.