Stop the Deporation of Ali Reza Monemi
PUBLIC STATEMENT ON THE HUNGER STRIKE STOP UNJUST DEPORTATIONS TO IRAN
Mr Ali Reza Monemi received a deportation order on January 7, 2005 back to Iran on Tuesday January 11. He pleaded with Immigration officials to receive more time to arrange his affairs before his deportation but his request was refused and he was promptly detained.
Mr. Ali, like many other Iranian refugees, is facing deportation to a country despite grave danger to his life. According to medical reports, Mr Monemi has already suffered sixty lashes at the hand of the Morality Police and he has been sentenced to 85 more lashings, imprisonment and excommunication within Iran. He also faces the possibility of death for fleeing the country in 1999 before his punishment could be carried out and for making a refugee claim in Canada.
Immigration Canada in the past has claimed that they have no evidence of any danger inflicted upon anyone who was deported to Iran, but the recent highly-publicized case of Haleh Sahba (a womens rights activist deported from Vancouver exactly one month ago on Dec 7) has proven otherwise. It has been widely reported that Haleh was detained for 26 hours. Like Haleh Sahba, Ali is being sent back to Iran without adequate travel documents.
On November 5, 2004 Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced that Canada tabled a resolution at the 59th session of the UN General Assembly, on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran and the Canadian government maintains a travel advisory to Iran for Canadians. Meanwhile, Immigration Canada is sending Iranians back to serious danger With new immigration and security laws introduced after 9-11, the regressive nature of Canada's immigrant and security laws have increased.
New laws and policy changes are transforming Canada and the US into Fortress North America. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act has made it more difficult to obtain status in Canada -- whether as an immigrant or refugee -- while making detentions and deportations easier.
The "Safe Third Country" agreement, implemented on December 29, 2004, will allow the immediate removal of any refugee claimant who enters Canada via the United States. This accounts for up to 40% of all refugee claimants.
The Anti-Terrorism Act provides unprecedented powers to police and government officials, including detention without trial and secret evidence. Instead of providing a fair hearing to refugee claimants, the IRB acts as a confrontational tribunal, populated by judges notorious and even charged for their incompetence, political partisanship, and in many cases, corruption.
Moreover, the new refugee determination system has no appeal process for a rejected claim, although Minister Coderre promised that the Refugee Appeal Division would be implemented in Canada by June 2003. Meanwhile, all the other avenues such as the Pre-Removal Risk Assessment process are deeply flawed, as statistically over 95% of refugees are unable to obtain a positive PRRA decision and refugees are allowed to be deported while still waiting for a decision on a pending Humanitarian and Compassionate claim.
WE DEMAND THAT:
1) Canada implement the Refugee Appeal Division as promised; and accordingly, re-open all previously refused cases, including for those underground with no legal status, and allow them a fair and full merit-based appeal.
2) Canada implements a moratorium on deportations to Iran
3) The release of refugees being detained.
Iranian Federation of Refugees Coalition to Defend Iranian Refugees from Deportation
VICTORY FOR ALI REZA MONEMI !!!
January 11, 2005
At 5 pm last night, less than twelve hours prior to his deportation, Ali Reza received news that he was granted a Stay of Deportation from Federal Court. Unable to contain her joy at two major victories within one day (the release of Ali from detention and his stay), his mother merely smiled throughout the rally with an occassional "Stop the Deportations! No One is Illegal."
Ali's victory to remain in Canada, at least temporarily, was due to the massive support and mobilization and the ongoing hunger strike. Even the judges commented on the public support as evidence that this was an unjust deportation. During the weekend, over 300-400 supporters dropped by to offer solidarity and support for the hunger strike, to the family, and to the campaign demands. On Monday, at noon over 50 supporters came out to rally for the release of Ali, including members of the Hospital Employee's Union, the Bus Riders Union, the Longshoreman Union, No One Is Illegal, the Anti-Poverty Commitee, Stop War, MAWO, the Iranian Federation of Refugees, the Palestine Community Centre, and others.
The hunger strike in sub zero temperatures was called off yesterday afternoon, but supporters from the Iranian Federation of Refugees and No One is Illegal vow to continue to fight for hundreds of others facing imminent deportation at the hands of Immigration Canada. The day that Ali was detained, there were at least ten other men with him in the holding cells of CIC.
It must be made clear that Ali's fight to remain in Canada is not over yet. He has merely been granted the chance to remain in Canada while a Federal Court judge decides whether to allow Ali leave to Federal Court to review his Pre-Removal Risk Assesment (PRRA), then the judge must decide whether to grant him a new PRRA, and if so, he must file another PRRA and then wait for a positive decision. He may recieve a deportation date again which points out the fundamental flaws of the immigration system. A system which plays with peoples lives by ordering deportation dates when they have not yet finished the refugee process.
In the coming month, there are at least a dozen more deportations and people are fearing for their lives. The support and resistance waged by Ali and Haleh's family and supporters must continue on in the fight for all immigrant and refugee rights and demand an end to deportations.
Please do get in touch to support various community organizations and families fighting the ongoing barrage of deportations.
Also the demands set forth during the hunger strike (see below) are still part of an ongoing campaign to Stop Deportations to Iran and we strongly encourage organizations to continue to support the campaign by sending endorsements. The campaign to Stop Deportations to Iran will be organizing more public events in coming months and is also heavily involved in the Canadian Refugee Camp, which involves various immigrant/refugee communties who have been resisting the war waged by Immigration Canada for over a century.
JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES NOW!
STOP THE DEPORTATIONS!
No One is Illegal Vancouver