Two teenage girls belonging to the Lev Tahor sect are now on a hunger strike since Saturday, according to a member of the group.
The girls, aged 14 and 16, were part of the group that were denied entry to Trinidad and Tobago last week. The nine members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect were flown back to Toronto over the weekend.
A Lev Tahor member, Miriam G. Helbrans, writes the girls "want to go only to their parents", rather than be placed in the care of the Children's Aid Society.
Helbrans says the 16-year-old was taken to hospital over the weekend and is "fighting for her life".
In November, several members of the cult left Ste-Agathe-des-Monts for Chatham, Ont., to dodge a Quebec court order forcing 14 of their children into foster care. Authorities allege the children were being mistreated and not properly educated.
Last month, an Ontario judge upheld the Quebec order. Last week, their lawyers were back in court to begin the appeal process — by which time, many of the children involved managed to flee the country with their parents.
Helbrans decries the lengths to which authorities in this country want them returned "alive or dead".