Somali mother surrenders to extradition, awaits further court decisions
Appeal process the next step as Somali community rallies in support
Anisa Ibrahim, the Somali mother who faces extradition charges on abducting her two children from the U.K., surrendered herself to a committal of extradition in court Friday.
But she still plans to fight being surrendered back to the U.K. The strain of the long process she has gone through was evident when he launched into tears just prior to the hearing in a courtroom filled with supporters from the Somali community.
Ibrahim will return to Barton Jail, of which she's been in and out for months through the court proceedings, and now awaits further decision on her extradition from the Minister of Justice. However, she has 30 days before she will be surrender herlesf back into custody, Justice A.C.R. Whitten told the courts.
She'll have the right to appeal the order and apply for release.
Fighting return to U.K.
She now enters the first phase of the key stages of the Canadian extradition process. Those phases, according to the Government of Canada's site on extradition, begin with the Minister of Justice beginning extradition proceedings in the courts, where a hearing is held to determined if there is sufficient evidence to justify extradition. If the court says yes, then the final decision rests with the Minister of Justice.
Her defence lawyer Andrew Confente told Justice Whitten that while she was signing her consent to extradition, Ibrahim would fight against being surrendered back to the U.K., and if she must be sent back, would ask the U.K. government take the concerns of her's and her children's safety into account.
The court was once again filled with friends, family and members of the Somali community there to show support for Ibrahim throughout the struggles.
When asked to comment on Ibrahim, her supporters declined to comment saying they were too upset.
- READ MORE: Hamilton Somali community shows up to support Anisa Ibrahim
- READ MORE: Woman accused of abducting her children in England found in Hamilton
Members of Hamilton's Somali community, have banded together out of fear for one of its own, even if she was here illegally.
They're afraid that the mother of two will be sent right back to the situation she was trying to escape.
And they've made it their job to attend every court appearance she makes to support someone of their own despite not having much of a connection with the mother of two.
"It's important because everybody knows what happened to her. They're afraid for her. People hear she was a victim of domestic violence." said Ibrahim's uncle Mohammed Naleye back in October.
Her story captured the heart of Hamilton's Somali community, Naleye said. They've filled court benches to take in every moment of the process, and between trials, they've been visiting her in jail.
So much so that they reached the cap on visitations back in October.
In his visits with Ibrahim, Naleye said she's not in a good mental state, as she's worried for her kids, aged eight and 10, who are being kept in the care of the Children's Aid Society. She's also worried about the courts pending decision.
"She's sick," he said. "She's thinking if she's returned to Great Britain, she's afraid for her life."
Ibrahim was expected to be bailed out of jail back on Oct. 14, but Canadian immigration officials put a hold on her file and she was returned to jail.
Naleye is there for support as well, though his case is different, he added. He's family – Ibrahim's mother's cousin – and he's there to relay information back to Somalia to Ibrahim's mother, who's "happy her daughter is getting the support from the Somali community."
An international truck driver, Naleye's been staying in his Toronto condo and travelling back and forth to Hamilton regularly to support his niece at hearings.
He's also agreed to act as a surety for Ibrahim through the process, putting down $50,000 of his own money should she flee while she's not in custody.
"That's a lot of money for me," he said, but added that it was worth it to keep Ibrahim out of prison for the sake of her mental health.