Winnipeg relative says widow and baby in more limbo as they hide in Afghanistan

The sister-in-law of a widow who has been hiding in Afghanistan with her baby following her late husband’s execution, says the mother has been told she must go to India to make her asylum plea but can’t get into the country, so she remains in danger.

Told to go to India to make asylum claim but can't get into country

IRCC has told a widowed afghan mother, trying to come to Canada with her son, she must travel to India to make a refugee claim, a place she is unable to get to. (Tanner Grywinski/CBC)

The sister-in-law of a widow, who has been hiding in Afghanistan with her baby following her late husband's violent death, says the mother has been told she must go to India to make her asylum plea — a place she is unable to get to.

"Just leaving her to die is what I would say will happen," said the Winnipeg sister-in-law, who CBC has agreed not to name out of concerns it could reveal the identities of her loved ones who are in hiding.

The family made a desperate plea to the Trudeau government through the media earlier this month and asked Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for an emergency intervention in the case.

The widow's husband was shot and killed in September 2017 and his family, who has been targeted by the Taliban before, believes it's because they allowed his sisters to go to school abroad.

The family says the case has been brought forward to Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen's office following a letter-writing campaign but they remain no closer to bringing their loved ones to Winnipeg.

The sister-in-law says the mother cannot go to India for an interview, as IRCC has suggested, because her family overstayed their visit in the country when they went there in 2016 to make a refugee application with the High Commissioner for Refugees in New Delhi.

'She's living a life that no human being deserves' 

The family went back to Afghanistan in 2017 to attend a funeral and the husband was killed less than a month later.

The mother is now battling to survive in a country where widows are already at special risk.

"She's living a life that no human being deserves being in constant moves and hiding and all alone woman with her child not having any support," her sister-in-law said. "The situation is getting worse every day."

CBC News has reached out to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for comment. The department previously declined to comment on the case citing privacy reasons.
A Winnipeg couple, who say their son was executed after his family allowed his sisters to go to school abroad, is begging the Canadian government to help bring their daughter-in-law and grandson out of hiding in Afghanistan to Canada. 1:56

About the Author

Austin Grabish

Reporter

​Austin Grabish is a reporter for CBC News in Winnipeg​ where he files for TV, web and radio. ​​Born and raised in Manitoba, Austin has had an itch for news since he was young. He landed his first byline when he was just 18. Before joining CBC, he reported for several outlets with work running across the country. He studied human rights in university and holds both a degree and diploma in communications.​ Email: austin.grabish@cbc.ca