Germany-based Syrian activist denied Canada visa to visit family
Syrian journalist and activist Wafa Ali Mustafa has been denied a visa to Canada to visit her family because authorities fear that she may stay in Canada, sparking outrage from Syrians.
Mustafa wrote in a post on Twitter that her visa was refused despite her having been granted asylum in Germany.
"I was recently granted asylum in #Germany. I applied 4 visa to #Canada to see my mom & sisters after 3 years of separation. Canadian authorities refused my visa fearing I will stay there!" wrote Mustafa, who has German residency.
I was recently granted asylum in #Germany. I applied 4 visa to #Canada to see my mom & sisters after 3 years of separation.— Wafa Ali Mustafa (@WafaMustafa9) February 7, 2022
Canadian authorities refused my visa fearing I will stay there!
As if being deprived of my dad for 3143 days in Assad’s prisons isn't enough..
Sad & angry pic.twitter.com/jG97ARShvF
Over the course of the conflict, tens of thousands of Syrian were snatched from their homes, offices and the streets and sent to prisons, where torture and even execution are common.
Human rights groups say medical and food shortages are also common in these detention centres.
Mustafa's father was detained in July 2013 and has not been seen since.
The family fled Syria after the arrest, fearing for their own safety.
After three years in Turkey, travelled to Germany, where she continued her studies.
After putting her story online, numerous people took it upon themselves to try and raise awareness for Mustafa's case. Many said the visa system in Canada and other countries often appears to be arbitrary or unfair toward Syrians.
"Prime Minister @JustinTrudeau Wafa Ali Mustafa is a woman of immense integrity, admired+respected across the world who would NEVER abuse a visa. I appeal to you to review this bizarre decision which amounts to an attack on a Hero for Human Rights & a truly outstanding HR Defender," filmmaker Ronan Tynan tweeted.
Others on Twitter shared their experience of failing to get a visa to Canada.
"Canada is the worst!! My brother has been living there for a decade and my mom has never been able to get a visa to visit him. She’s tried applying many times for difference visa types and they keep rejecting her," one user wrote.
"My parents and sister, and my brother & his family all live in Canada. I'm a refugee in Norway. I haven't been able to see them since 2019 (haven't seen my brother since 2016)," another user added.
The New Arab reached out to the Canadian Embassy in Berlin but received no response at the time of publication.