Community activist and family deported

Local community activist Sean Osborne is to take legal advice after he was stopped, detained and then deported along with his two children by the Canadian authorities.

The St James’ community worker was on his way to visit relatives in Canada on Friday when the Canadian authorities at Toronto airport detained him.

Sean says the harsh treatment his children received has left them traumatised and he will be taking legal advice on the matter.

Sean was travelling to Canada with his two daughters – Laura, 17, and Nicola, 9 – to visit relatives when their ordeal began.

After the seven-hour flight to Toronto Sean was detained at passport control and his two daughters put through a traumatic ordeal that has left them suffering from nightmares.

“We had been planning and saving for this holiday for months and the girls were really excited about getting to see their cousins and aunt in Canada.

“We had just arrived after the seven-hour flight and were going through immigration when one of the women checking passports took mine and told me to stand to the side.

“After that I was taken to a room and my children were left sitting outside in a highly distressed state.

“They asked me had I ever been in trouble with the police or immigration. I said I had never been in trouble with immigration but had a political conviction going back to 1978.”

Sean says throughout the ordeal he was never given any explanation as to why they had been singled out, they were never informed of their rights and his children were treated like criminals.

“My aunt has been a Canadian citizen for 47 years. She said she had no problem putting her house up as a security and that we were only on a vacation, but the authorities weren’t interested.

“Along with my children I was marched through a terminal by heavily-armed police and put back on a return flight.

“The other passengers saw that we were being put back on the flight and for the next seven hours my children were forced to endure whispering and finger-pointing from other passengers.

“My elder daughter Laura is angry that she was treated like a criminal and my younger daughter is having trouble sleeping at night.

“ I have no intention of letting this matter drop and will be seeking legal advice.”

Journalist:: Allison Morris

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