World Affairs Canada gained’t say if diplomats in Vienna hit amid Havana syndrome stories – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca


World Affairs Canada shouldn’t be saying whether or not any Canadian diplomats stationed within the Austrian capital have reported experiencing signs of what’s change into often known as Havana syndrome.

It comes because the Austrian Overseas Ministry stated on Monday that it’s investigating after stories that American diplomats working on the U.S. embassy in Vienna have reported signs in step with these of the mysterious sickness, which first made headlines in 2017.

“Following media stories of well being incidents amongst U.S. diplomats in Vienna, World Affairs Canada is partaking with our workers in Vienna and with different governments,” stated John Babcock, spokesperson for the division, in an electronic mail to World Information on Thursday.

“World Affairs Canada maintains a strict safety protocol to reply instantly to any uncommon occasions affecting Canadian diplomats or their households posted overseas.”

What exactly which means is unclear — the division didn’t reply particular questions on whether or not any Canadian workers in Vienna have reported signs in step with Havana syndrome, nor whether or not the danger score for the Canadian embassy there shall be elevated.

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Following stories of unusual signs amongst dozens of Canadian diplomats and their households in Havana, Cuba, in 2016 and 2017, the danger score for the embassy there was elevated.

The Havana embassy was reclassified as an unaccompanied posting in 2018. Which means diplomats stationed there are usually not allowed to deliver their households with them.

A spokesperson for the Austrian Overseas Ministry stated officers there are in “common contact with all diplomatic missions in Austria,” however declined to remark additional on specifics.

“We’re taking these stories very critically. In accordance with our function as Host State we cooperate with the US Authorities of their investigation,” stated Gabriele Juen.

“The safety of diplomats and their households despatched to Austria is of the best precedence to us.”

Learn extra:
Navy police faraway from Canadian embassy almost a 12 months after final ‘Havana syndrome’ case

World Affairs Canada has stated there are not any new confirmed stories of Havana syndrome amongst Canadian diplomats since December 2018. However they haven’t defined why the danger score for the embassy stays unaccompanied, or commented on their evaluation of the findings of two high-profile American stories into the reason for the thriller.

The U.S. Nationwide Academies of Sciences issued a hotly awaited report in December 2020 that decided “directed, pulsed radio frequency vitality seems to be essentially the most believable” trigger for the unusual, lasting signs reported by diplomats.

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The report stated there had been an “early failure” to detect and examine the circumstances, which have spurred a spread of theories starting from pesticide poisoning to the malicious use of directed vitality weapons by a hostile international actor.

Whereas the report’s authors notice they can not say conclusively whether or not the pulsed vitality got here from a weapon or one other supply, “the mere consideration of such a state of affairs raises grave considerations a few world with disinhibited malevolent actors and new instruments for inflicting hurt to others.”

Learn extra:
Ottawa reviewing new report that ‘directed, pulsed’ vitality behind Havana syndrome

A extremely redacted, declassified U.S. State Division report launched beneath freedom of data legal guidelines in that nation earlier this 12 months stated the signs reported by dozens of American and Canadian diplomats are the results of “focused actions.”

That report additionally warned that whereas “the mechanism of harm, the perpetrator and the motive stay unknown,” the dangers to diplomats weren’t over.

Although initially compiled in June 2018, the discharge of the declassified report in February 2021 got here simply two months earlier than CNN reported on two separate incidents in late 2020 that occurred close to the White Home and affected staffers engaged on the Nationwide Safety Council.

World Information reported in Might 2021 {that a} letter despatched on behalf of 9 Canadian diplomats and their households to Overseas Affairs Minister Marc Garneau stated there have been “a minimum of three” extra circumstances in Canadians in 2019 and 2020.

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That letter alleged that World Affairs Canada has taken the choice to not disclose new circumstances.

That adopted reporting by World Information that three extra people are becoming a member of the $28-million lawsuit launched by Canadian diplomats and their households over lasting neurological signs alleged to have been sustained whereas serving in Havana, and which they are saying proceed years later.

Learn extra:
Canadian officers not disclosing ‘a minimum of 3’ new Havana syndrome circumstances, letter says

The federal government has repeatedly refused to offer clear solutions to questions from World Information over the past 12 months on dozens of elements of its dealing with of the stories of unusual signs amongst diplomats.

Officers haven’t additionally addressed why bureaucrats warned diplomats certain for Cuba in 2017 to remain silent about mysterious signs being reported amongst workers on the embassy in Havana — and what’s being finished now to guard Canadian diplomats nonetheless overseas.

Learn extra:
Canadian officers warned workers certain for Cuba to remain silent on ‘Havana syndrome’

The thriller started in late 2016 and early 2017 when American diplomatic workers on the embassy in Havana started reporting uncommon signs much like these from a concussion: listening to loss, reminiscence loss, tinnitus, nosebleeds, imaginative and prescient issues and vertigo, amongst others.

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Canadian diplomatic workers and their households started reporting signs in early 2017 and into the next 12 months, with greater than 40 Canadian and American diplomats and their households impacted.

However almost 4 years after the onset of the thriller, there are not any official solutions and the Canadian authorities is combating 15 of these Canadians impacted in courtroom, arguing the plaintiffs have made “exaggerated” claims.




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