First Afghan human rights activists arrive six months after Ottawa’s promise of help


Published January 11, 2022 at 4:40 pm

OTTAWA — Six months after the federal government promised to help thousands of Afghan women leaders, human rights activists and journalists flee to Canada, the first planeload has landed.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced the arrival of 250 Afghan refugees this afternoon, including the first 170 admitted through a special program for human rights defenders.

The Liberal government launched the program in July following weeks of criticism from angry Canadian veterans.

The veterans were upset Ottawa wasn’t doing more to help Afghans facing possible Taliban reprisals for having worked with Canada in the past.

While the Liberals also promised to resettle a total of 40,000 Afghans, the government says fewer than 7,000 have so far arrived.

It was not immediately clear when today’s arrivals, who landed in Calgary, fled Afghanistan, which has been under Taliban rule since August.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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