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Toronto Star reporter slams Canada's foreign ministry for lack of openness

Reporter John Goddard details a deteriorating relationship between the media and the Department of Foreign Affairs in a Canadian Journalism Project report.

Goddard refers to the case of a Toronto woman, Suaad Hagi Mohamud, who was stranded for three months in Nairobi after Canadian embassy officials and Kenyan authorities agreed that her extensive evidence did not prove her identity. The 31-year-old single mother was treated as an imposter and spent eight days in jail and weeks confined to a hotel room.

Goddard accuses Foreign Affairs of stonewalling the public and showing “arrogance and dismissiveness” in handling the case.

Another Toronto Star reporter, Michelle Shephard, describes Mohamud's departure from Kenya and her return to Canada, where she has sued the government over diplomats' handling of her case. The results of an internal government investigation are pending, says Shephard, who credits Goddard for keeping the story in the news.

—Ian Tennant

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» Reporter breaks story of woman's plight and relentlessly pursued it (Toronto Star)