Communiqué sent to the Saudi Medias
Canadian woman confined in Bisha by the Al Sharahni family
We are Nathalie Morin’s Support Committee and we wish to bring to your attention the terrible situation that Nathalie, a Canadian citizen, is living in Saudi Arabia. She has lived in Saudi since 2005 and since then has been mistreated by a violent man, Saeed Al Sharahni. For many years she was confined in an apartment in Dammam, where Mr. Al Sharahni beat her, verbally mistreated her and frequently deprived her of food. Nathalie Morin has three children, Samir, Abdullah and Sarah, two of whom were conceived from rape perpetrated by Saeed Al Sharahni. The children have also been subject to maltreatment. Nathalie has been asking to be repatriated with the children for the last 5 years.
Mr. Al Sharahni uses Nathalie Morin and the children as hostages and has repeatedly requested money and material goods to enrich himself at their expense. During all this time he has received important sums of money and has lived comfortably himself, all the while depriving Nathalie and the children of their basic needs. In September 2009 he even asked Canadian Embassy officials a sum of 300 000$ US in exchange for Nathalie and the children’s repatriation.
We have undertaken several steps with the Canadian government to negotiate an agreement with the Saudi government that would permit Nathalie and the children to be freed from this violent and manipulative man. On May 13th, 2010, we were invited by the Canadian government to testify with regards to Nathalie’s situation in front of a parliamentary committee on human rights. The same day, the Crowned Prince Mohammed bin Naif al Saud was present at the Canadian Parliament to discuss with the Canadian Foreign Affairs minister, Mr. Lawrence Cannon, to try and find a solution. As of yet, nothing concrete has evolved from these discussions.
In the meantime, Saeed Al Sharahni has moved Nathalie and the children to Bisha, his hometown, where they are staying at his mother’s house. Although discussions are underway between the Canadian and Saudi governments, the Al Sharahni family has locked Nathalie up in a storage room with no furniture, air conditioning and have deprived her of water and food. The only times she has eaten or that she is released from confinement is when we have exerted pressure from Canada against the Canadian Embassy or the National Society for Human Rights.
The Al Sharahni family verbally abuses Nathalie, mock her and harass her so that she returns to Canada without the children. They intentionally exert physical and psychological pressure to make her abandon her children. But Nathalie refuses to abandon them. Consequently, her psychological health is declining; she is sometimes overwrought by suicidal thoughts due to confinement, isolation and the lack of food and water. As for the children, they are exposed to their mother’s situation of confinement and violence which will have serious impacts on their mental health. This situation must stop.
A solution must be rapidly negotiated to repatriate Nathalie Morin and the children to Canada in order to ensure their safety and well-being. We cannot accept that a violent man and his Saudi family can confine and maltreat a Canadian woman with such impunity, with the only purpose of extorting money.
Nathalie’s mother, Ms. Johanne Durocher, will be available for an interview in order to discuss in further detail the situation of her daughter and grandchildren. You may reach her at 450-674-9482 (outside of Canada dial XXXXX) or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nathalie Morin’s Support Committee
Nahalie Morin’s Support Committee is a non-profit, citizen’s group that includes various individuals and has the support of several women’s groups, political parties in Quebec and Canada, as well as the support of numerous citizens.