OTTAWA — The parents of Jack Letts, a British-Canadian man imprisoned in northern Syria, are chastising Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for saying he wouldn’t lift a finger to help their son.
Scheer might react differently if his own child was locked in a foreign dungeon without access to a lawyer or contact with his family, John Letts and Sally Lane say in a newly released statement.
The couple, who live in Oxford, England, say it is time for Canadian politicians to show leadership and demonstrate that Ottawa is able to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens.
Questions about the fate of Jack Letts, who is being held in a Kurdish jail in Syria, recently resurfaced following word that Britain had revoked his citizenship.
Letts’ parents say their son, who still holds Canadian citizenship, went to Syria for religious and humanitarian reasons, not to fight for the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
They say it is irresponsible of Scheer, and the U.K. government, to ‘pass the buck’ and let other countries deal with the westerners being held in Syria following the demise of ISIL.
“Mr. Scheer and his colleagues have continued to spread lies about our son in order to appear to be ‘tough on terrorism,'” the parents’ newly released letter says.
“In 2018 we offered to show him all of the evidence we had about Jack, including undisclosed court documents that we believe prove his innocence. He refused to speak to us.”
Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press