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Itzhayek to be freed from Indian jail

An Israeli-born Canadian businessman is being released from an Indian jail.

Saul Itzhayek’s sister received word Tuesday morning that her brother was being sent home, his prison sentence reduced to time served.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am right now,” Sylvia Itzhayek said. “I feel like a huge weight has been removed from my back.”

Saul Itzhayek, of Montreal, has been imprisoned in India since last spring for a minor visa violation. Sources said his cell was infested with rats and scorpions, and the jail, in an impoverished region of the country near the Nepalese border, is populated by gangs and warlords.

Bombs were set off last week and a warload found guilty of murdering 35 people wasshot and killed.

“Saul initiated a self-imposed lockdown in his cell, worried he would get killed in the crossfire,” his
sister said.

The Indian government was pressured to intervene by Irwin Cotler, a member of the Canadian Parliament and an internationally known human rights attorney, among others. Cotler brought an interfaith delegation to Ottawa to meet with India’s foreign affairs representatives.

An interfaith demonstration demanding Itzhayek’s release was held last week in Montreal.

 

 

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