DAY 2 – HUNGER STRIKE TO STOP UNJUST DEPORTATIONS TO IRAN
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Offices, 300 West Georgia
Harsha Walia – 778 885 0040
Tamineh Sadeghi- 604 763 1446
Members of the Iranian community and supporters from No One is Illegal are maintaining a hunger strike outside CIC offices (300 West Georgia) since noon on Friday, January 7th.
Overnight, approximately 20 people remained outside CIC offices in subzero temperatures with tents and blankets. The hunger strike is a protest against increasing numbers of deportations to Iran that has a well-documented record of human rights violations. On November 5, 2004 Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew announced that Canada tabled a resolution at the UN General Assembly on the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran.
Ali Reza Mozemi was called into CIC offices Friday January 7th, at 9 am, only to receive a deportation order for Tuesday Jan 11. When he attempted to request for more time from his enforcement officer, he was swiftly handcuffed and detained by officials and will have a detention review hearing on Monday, January 10th.
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 women’s 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.
With new immigration and security laws introduced after 9-11, the regressive nature of Canada's immigrant and security laws have increased. 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.
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 are deeply flawed; for example, statistically over 95% of refugees are unable to obtain a positive decision on the Pre Removal Risk Assessment and refugees are allowed to be deported while still waiting for a decision on a pending Humanitarian and Compassionate claim.