Press Review of the Americas

Headlines: Canada accuses India of killing Sikh leader on its soil

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accuses India of killing a Sikh leader in Canada last June. © Sean Kilpatrick / AP

By: Christophe Paget Follow


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The news made the front page of The Globe and Mail: "Canada has 'credible' information that the targeted attack on a B.C. temple in June was carried out by agents of the Modi government," the prime minister said. An attack that resulted in the death of Sikh leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar. Justin Trudeau said it on Monday, September 18 in the House of Commons during a "surprise announcement," says the English-language daily, "shortly after speaking to the leaders of the opposition."

Trudeau said he raised the issue with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month in New Delhi. Also on Monday, an Indian intelligence official "of the highest level" was expelled from the country, notes Le Devoir – this Tuesday, September 19, it is a Canadian diplomat who was expelled by India, adds the Toronto Star.

Hardeep Singh Nijjar, explains the daily, was killed in the parking lot of the temple in Surrey, a suburb of Vancouver. An assassination that made international headlines, because Nijjar was "the leader of a push for the creation of an independent Sikh state, which would result in the separation of the Punjab region from India". A few days before his death, recalls the English-language daily, he had told the press that he feared for his life. Activists in Canada's Sikh community hoped the revelations would "lead to more extensive investigations into other types of Indian interference in Canada."

Unanimous condemnation

Elected officials from all Canadian parties condemned India's possible role in the assassination with one voice, Le Devoir said. The newspaper reports that Sikh-born New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh spoke at length about how, growing up in India, he heard in his community "countless stories of human rights abuses, torture and murder by the Indian government against this religious minority."

More broadly, The Globe and Mail believes that "once again, the Canadian must deal with foreign intimidation tactics," recalling that five years ago, "China responded to the arrest of a Huawei executive in Vancouver by throwing two Canadians in jail." But also that families of the victims of the crash of Flight 752 by the Iranian army had said they had been approached by relatives of the Iranian regime who tried to silence them.


Foreign governments apparently believe that they can operate in Canada with impunity. Preventing this has become a national priority," concludes The Globe and Mail.

Haiti in New York

Dominican President Luis Abinader and Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry are in New York for the UN General Assembly. But Luis Abinader, who last week closed the border between the two countries, does not seem to have the intention of meeting Ariel Henry, announces Gazette Haiti: this Monday at a press conference, he cited the names of the leaders he will meet on the sidelines of this General Assembly, and the Haitian Prime Minister is not one of them.

On the other hand, writes El Nacional, the Dominican president on Tuesday "will meet with the president of Kenya to discuss the possible deployment of a force in Haiti." Members of the Haitian diaspora took advantage of the presence of the Dominican president to express their anger at the closure of the border: they demonstrated, reports Gazette Haiti, in front of Columbia University, where Luis Abinader participated in an activity, calling his decision "racist".

Meanwhile, in Haiti, Le National returns to relations with the Dominican Republic: "On the island, our neighbors have widened the gap with us in all areas without this being the least of the worries of our leaders," indignant the daily which continues: "sooner or later, if we do not want to be vassalized completely (...), that we stop gesticulating to refloat our agriculture, our education system and especially that we train young Haitians who can think about the renewal of the country on the basis of our own resources."

The journalist began his editorial with "the spectacle of Dominican trucks loaded with goods arriving in our country and returning home practically empty", which "should have always worried our said leaders".

Release of five Americans imprisoned in Iran

On the front page of the New York Times, three of the five freed Americans get off the plane that brought them from Iran to Qatar. They must then be reunited with their families in Washington, according to Politico. USA Today reports on the conditions of their detention in Evin prison, "known for its chronic overcrowding, very limited hot water, poor ventilation, and premises infested with cockroaches and mice.


The Washington Post recalls that to free them, the United States transferred to Tehran six billion dollars of funds that had been frozen and that five Iranians were released. For the newspaper, which speaks of a "partial thaw in relations", this exchange "could allow discussions on bigger issues": "allow access – even limited – to funds while the Iranian economy has failures after years of international sanctions and mismanagement of the economy", and "lead to discussions on substantive issues such as the return to the nuclear agreement". " – although, says the daily, it also depends "on who will lead the United States after the presidential election".

The race for the presidency could see new tensions because of this exchange of prisoners, according to USA Today, which recalls that "in recent weeks, Republican candidates have strongly criticized the decision of the Biden administration to proceed with the exchange of prisoners, believing that it amounted to paying a ransom to a country that finances terrorism".

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