Quebec woman in Saudi gets MPs' support

Opposition parties are demanding the Conservative government repatriate a Quebec woman who claims her husband is refusing to allow her and her three children to leave Saudi Arabia.

All 3 opposition parties back her repatriation bid

Opposition parties are demanding the Conservative government repatriate a Quebec woman who claims her husband is refusing to allow her and her three children to leave Saudi Arabia.

Nathalie Morin, shown here with her eldest son, Samir (now nearly seven years old), says she has been trying to return to Canada for 2½ years. ((CBC/Family photo))
Liberal, Bloc Québécois and NDP MPs presented a united front on Thursday to bolster Nathalie Morin's repatriation request.

If the Conservative government believes it champions human rights, it should "put action behind its words in the case of Nathalie Morin," said NDP deputy leader Thomas Mulcair.

While reiterating her daughter’s repatriation demand on Thursday, Morin’s mother Johanne Durocher called Canada’s inaction "shameful."

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government has "ignored or minimized the bad treatment endured by Nathalie and her children," Durocher said.

Morin, 26, has lived with her husband Samir Said Ramthi Al-Bishi for nearly five years in Saudi Arabia.

She made an initial public plea last year to return to Canada with her three children, alleging Al-Bishi beats her regularly and doesn't allow her to leave their house.

After meeting with Saudi officials in Riyadh last fall, Foreign Affairs minister Lawrence Cannon said he saw the case as a private matter to be resolved in Al-Bishi’s homeland.

Saudi laws were recently amended to allow foreign-born wives to leave the country without requiring their husband’s approval. But these changes were not retroactive and thus do not apply to Morin.

Moreover, the amendments do not apply to children of Saudi husbands, and Morin refuses to leave the country without her children.