Pair threat­ened adult daugh­ter with hon­our killing NP1

Plea deal over threats staves off de­por­ta­tion

Edmonton Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Joseph Brean

A Syr­ian refugee cou­ple who threat­ened their adult daugh­ter with an hon­our killing for dat­ing a Cana­dian man have made a plea deal with New Brunswick prosecutors that will save them from pos­si­ble de­por­ta­tion back to their war-rav­aged home­land.

Ah­mad Ay­oub, 52, and his wife Faten, 48, were freed this week after 72 days in jail, after plead­ing guilty to ut­ter­ing threats as a sum­mary con­vic­tion of­fence, and be­ing sen­tenced to time served.

If they had been con­victed of the more se­ri­ous in­dictable of­fence of ut­ter­ing threats, for which a trial was sched­uled in the sum­mer, they would have faced a sen­tence in the range of six months to a year, up to a max­i­mum of two years.

More im­por­tantly, they would have faced the pos­si­bil­ity of also be­ing sent back to Syria, from which they es­caped through Jor­dan, even­tu­ally set­tling in Fredericton in 2016, spon­sored by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

“That’s the main thing that we gained,” said David Lutz, Ah­mad’s lawyer. “No­body who is a refugee wants to be con­victed of any in­dictable of­fence, be­cause it’s go­ing to bring them un­der the purview of de­por­ta­tion.”

Lutz called the case a “very crit­i­cal clash of cul­tures” that has sent a clear mes­sage to the Syr­ian com­mu­nity in Canada that even empty threats are taken se­ri­ously by the po­lice and courts.

“Their words were taken lit­er­ally in­stead of fig­u­ra­tively,” Lutz said. “In my in­ter­ac­tion with the en­tire fam­ily, I came to the con­clu­sion that this is a man­ner of speech that they never re­ally in­tend to carry any of this out, but they do it so to say, ‘You should mind me, be­cause this is what I think.’ ”

The Ay­oubs have one adult child who re­mains in Jor­dan, and five oth­ers, one as young as 10, in Fredericton. Both have post-sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion. Ah­mad has worked in busi­ness, and Faten as a cook, but nei­ther are em­ployed yet in Canada.

No one an­swered the phone at their home on Wed­nes­day. Ge­orge Kali­nowski, Faten Ay­oub’s lawyer, de­clined to com­ment.

The threats were made against their daugh­ter Bayan, 25. They only came to light when Bayan told her Cana­dian boyfriend, who en­cour­aged her to go to po­lice. She soon re­canted, how­ever, and was de­scribed in court as a re­luc­tant par­tic­i­pant in the pros­e­cu­tion.

“Through­out the time from which her par­ents were ar­rested and de­tained, (Bayan) was re­cant­ing and say­ing ‘All this is my fault.’ But of course, just like in do­mes­tic as­saults, the po­lice — and rightly so — don’t take the re­cant­ing se­ri­ously,” Lutz said.

Bayan went to po­lice in Fe­bru­ary. This prompted the threat by her mother, who urged her to tell po­lice she lied, oth­er­wise she would be killed. This threat was made on a phone call that Bayan recorded.

Ac­cord­ing to re­port­ing by Don MacPher­son of The Fredericton Daily Gleaner,

THIS KIND OF LAN­GUAGE MAY BE AC­CEPT­ABLE IN SYRIA OR AFGHANISTAN ... (BUT NOT) IN CANADA.

the first threat was made in April 2016, soon after the fam­ily ar­rived in Canada. Ah­mad was an­gry that his daugh­ter won an iPad in a con­test, and threat­ened to poi­son her food. He also said he wanted to limit her con­tact with lo­cal men.

The sec­ond threat came last sum­mer, when Bayan’s par­ents learned she was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with a Cana­dian man on so­cial me­dia, and her fa­ther said that “for his own dig­nity, it would be better to slaugh­ter her,” the prose­cu­tor said.

A third threat from Ah­mad was prompted by her use of a smart­phone, and his con­cern she was com­mu­ni­cat­ing with peo­ple she met at a work place­ment.

Lutz said the more se­ri­ous in­dictable of­fence of ut­ter­ing threats is gen­er­ally used in cases where there is ev­i­dence the of­fender had the abil­ity or means to do it. In this case, he said their words were hy­per­bolic, ex­ag­ger­ated and non-lit­eral.

He said the Ay­oubs’ threats were “care­less, bor­der­ing on reck­less, and they have learned from this ex­pe­ri­ence that this kind of lan­guage may be ac­cept­able in Syria and Afghanistan, but now they know, better than most, that it’s not ac­cept­able in Canada.”

DON MACPHER­SON AND CAITLIN DUTT / THE DAILY GLEANER

Bayan Ay­oub leaves the court­house in Bur­ton, N.B., on Tues­day. Ay­oub’s par­ents, Ah­mad and Faten Ay­oub, were freed from jail this week after plead­ing guilty to threat­en­ing the 25-year-old woman with an hon­our killing. The cou­ple, Syr­ian refugees, will be on pro­ba­tion for a year.

Comments

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.