Mother of Canadian detained in Syria accuses of Ottawa of shirking duty to help

OTTAWA — The mother of a Canadian man being held in northeastern Syria accuses the federal government of doing "precisely nothing" to secure his release.

Sally Lane is urging the Liberal government to send a delegate overseas to help free son Jack Letts and other Canadians detained in atrocious conditions.

Letts, who turned 27 this week, is one of several Canadian citizens among the many foreign nationals in Syrian camps run by Kurdish forces that reclaimed the war-torn region from the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Letts was born in Oxford, England, but the British government stripped him of citizenship three years ago.

He became a devoted Muslim, went on holiday to Jordan at 18, then studied in Kuwait before winding up in Syria and, his family says, getting captured by Kurdish forces while fleeing the country with a group of refugees in 2017.

His parents say they have seen no evidence that their son became a terrorist fighter, adding that Letts stood against ISIL and was even put on trial for publicly condemning the group.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press