Hamilton Somali community shows up to support Anisa Ibrahim
Ibrahim is wanted in England on charges of unlawful abduction and disobeying a court order
It was a quick, routine court appearance, but the Anisa Ibrahim case drew a supportive crowd from some of Hamilton's Somali community on Friday.
The mother of two faces extradition on charges of abducting her children from the UK. Authorities were searching for her for five years when they found her living in Hamilton under an assumed name. Her sons are aged 10 and eight.
Ibrahim appeared in Hamilton court on Friday, and about 30 supporters from the city's Somali community sat in the audience.
Sahra Farah, a local Somali woman, said the group was there to support Ibrahim. She wouldn't comment on the case itself, or much of what she knew of Ibrahim.
"She's a good mother," Farah said.
"We want to show we are supporting her."
Ibrahim, 35, still doesn't have a lawyer. Andrew Confente says he expects to represent her, but an issue needs to be resolved with Legal Aid first. He expects to be retained by the time Ibrahim appears in court again on Sept. 11 at 10 a.m.
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Then, the first order of business will be bail, Confente said. Ibrahim has been in Barton Jail – and her children in Children's Aid Society care – since Toronto Police's fugitive squad found her in Hamilton two weeks ago.
"She's very concerned about the well being of her children," Confenti said.
The case brought "strong support from the community in Hamilton and Toronto, who are here to support her," he said. "The community is very tight knit."
Ibrahim is wanted in England on charges of unlawful abduction and disobeying a court order. Authorities say she was last seen in Manchester, UK in April 2010. She took her two young sons to Amsterdam, then to Germany, where she boarded a plane to Toronto, Toronto Police say.
The boys' father, who lives in England, has been searching for them for five years, said the Missing Children Society of Canada, which has been part of the search.