International Affairs Canada confirms no Canadians in Vienna hit amid Havana syndrome studies – Nationwide |

2021-07-23 00:03:59

International Affairs Canada has now confirmed there are not any studies of Canadian diplomats stationed within the Austrian capital experiencing signs of what’s grow to be often called Havana syndrome.

The response, issued following publication of the division’s unique lack of a solution, comes after the Austrian International Ministry confirmed it’s probing studies that American diplomats in Vienna have reported signs in keeping with these of the mysterious sickness, which first made headlines in 2017.

“There are at present no studies of Canadians in Vienna with well being incidents and we proceed to watch the state of affairs carefully,” mentioned John Babcock, spokesperson for the division, in an e-mail on Thursday.

“We proceed to remain in touch with our workers and all different related governments in Vienna.”

Babcock’s replace got here after International Information revealed a press release provided by the division Thursday morning which didn’t reply particular questions despatched to them on Tuesday asking whether or not Canadian diplomats in Vienna had reported signs.

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The preliminary response had mentioned solely that International Affairs Canada is “partaking with our workers in Vienna and with different governments,” and that the division “maintains a strict safety protocol to reply instantly to any uncommon occasions affecting Canadian diplomats or their households posted overseas.”

Nonetheless, International Affairs Canada nonetheless has not answered a number of of the questions from the unique question: amongst them, whether or not Canadian diplomats are being provided any further safety recommendation or whether or not the danger score for the Canadian embassy in Vienna is beneath overview.

Following studies of 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 will not be allowed to deliver their households with them.

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

“We’re taking these studies very critically. In accordance with our position as Host State we cooperate with america Authorities of their investigation,” mentioned Gabriele Juen.

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

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

International Affairs Canada has mentioned there are not any new confirmed studies 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 studies 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 power seems to be probably the most believable” trigger for the unusual, lasting signs reported by diplomats.

The report mentioned there had been an “early failure” to detect and examine the instances, which have spurred a variety of theories starting from pesticide poisoning to the malicious use of directed power weapons by a hostile overseas actor.

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

Learn extra:
Ottawa reviewing new report that ‘directed, pulsed’ power 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 mentioned the signs reported by dozens of American and Canadian diplomats are the results of “focused actions.”

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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.

International Information reported in Could 2021 {that a} letter despatched on behalf of 9 Canadian diplomats and their households to International Affairs Minister Marc Garneau mentioned there have been “at the least three” further instances in Canadians in 2019 and 2020.

That letter alleged that International Affairs Canada has taken the choice to not disclose new instances.

That adopted reporting by International 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 ‘at the least 3’ new Havana syndrome instances, letter says

The federal government has repeatedly refused to offer clear solutions to questions from International Information during the last 12 months on dozens of facets of its dealing with of the studies of unusual signs amongst diplomats.

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

Learn extra:
Canadian officers warned workers sure 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 just like these from a concussion: listening to loss, reminiscence loss, tinnitus, nosebleeds, imaginative and prescient issues and vertigo, amongst others.

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 preventing 15 of these Canadians impacted in court docket, arguing the plaintiffs have made “exaggerated” claims.

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