Home | About Us | Events | Links
Login | | Visitor
  
  Home > Public Struggles > Haleh Sahba
No One Is Illegal - Van
Campaigns
Education/Resources
Public Struggles
   Haleh Sahba
   Media Reports
Ali Monemi
Adrian Dragan
Indigenous Sovereignty
Legal Resources
Events
Links
Site Map
Search

No One Is Illegal

The No One is Illegal campaign is in full confrontation with Canadian colonial border policies, denouncing and taking action to combat racial profiling of immigrants and refugees, detention and deportation policies, and wage-slave conditions of migrant workers and non-status people.

We struggle for the right for our communities to maintain their livelihoods and resist war, occupation and displacement, while building alliances and supporting indigenous sisters and brothers also fighting theft of land and displacement.

contact NOII-Van:
email: noii-van@resist.ca
tel: 604-682-3269 +7149

 
 

HALEH SAHBA

Haleh Sahba is a 30-year old Iranian refugee claimant who was deported from Vancouver on December 7th, 2004. Haleh spent almost 3 years struggling with Immigration of Canada, and like many refugees in the post 9/11 climate, her case was denied.

Haleh fled Iran as women’s right activist and student activist involved in the movement for democracy in Iran. Haleh and others in her family have been active since a young age for womens rights and democratic rights in Iran. Her aunt is a well-known activist who fled Iran due to her work. Haleh herself was abused by her husband due to her increasing work as an activist and struggled to get a divorce. Due to her activities she was banned from Tehran University for three years (1997-2000) and only allowed to return in 2000 with many restrictions and conditions. In July 2000, she was arrested as one of the protest organizers at Tehran University. Upon being released from jail, Haleh went into hiding and fled Iran in 2000 and arrived in Canada in January 2001.

Immigration Canada refused to acknowledge that she would face danger if forced to return to Iran.

Haleh worked as assistant manager in a Starbucks for almost 2 years and also carries a degree in English Studies and is highly experienced as a piano teacher. During her stay in Canada, she actively supported and participated in the Iranian movement for women’s rights and volunteered and organized with various women centres.

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, the Immigration Canada is sending Haleh, and others Iranians, back to serious danger.

1. Updates and Actions
2. Media Reports
3. Photos

Haleh Sahba Deported

December 7, 2004

Approximately 40-50 family members and supporters from the Iranian Federation of Refugees and No One is Illegal gathered at Immigration Canada early this morning in a last minute attempt to demand a stay of deportation of Haleh Sahba from enforcement officials directly.

Haleh Sahba is a refugee claimant in Vancouver whose case, like many other refugee claimants in Canada, has been denied despite strong evidence that as a political activist for womens rights and a student activist, upon her return to Iran she will face detention, persecution from an abusive ex-husband, and possible imprisonment.

Security downstairs initially refused the delegation, particularly Haleh and NOII members, to proceed upstairs until Haleh's family and the media persistently challenged the reason that a public office was being made inaccessible. Security, embarrased and cornered, conceded and apologized.

While upstairs, a meeting was continously refused, stating that without an appointment, Haleh would not be able to meet anyone, even for five minutes, and was in fact reprimanded for not proceeding to the airport.

In an interview with CTV later in the day, an immigration spokespersonstated that all files are judged carefully, particularly the Pre-removal risk assessemnt (PRRA) where conditions in countries are carefully assessed. Latest statistics, however, reveal that the PRRA has a refusal rate of over 95% due to the inherently forward-looking assessment of what could be irreputable harm.

According to CIC's own statistics, over 50,000 people have been removed from Canada in the past five years. These attacks against immigrant and refugee communities are escalating with repressive and racist immigration policies. No One is Illegal, along with other immigrant and refugee groups, will continue to build a movement for justice for our communities.

Stop the deportations now!

Update on Haleh Sahba

 

December 6, 2004

 

Today, December 6th, a day Canada commemorates as a day of action and remembrance on violence against women, Immigration Canada has decided to deport a woman back to a country notorious for its dismal human rights record and on-going persecution of women.

 

Haleh Sahba is a refugee claimant in Vancouver whose case, like many other refugee claimants in Canada, has been denied despite strong evidence that if she returns to Iran she will face detention, persecution from an abusive ex-husband, and possible imprisonment. Last week, after three years of working and living in Canada with her immediate and extended family, she was told she is to be deported on Tuesday, December 7th at 10:30 am.

 

Today at a hearing at the Federal Court, Immigration Canada rejected her last chance to stay in Canada. Haleh Sahba was forced to come to Canada with a fake passport and if she is returned she will certainly be detained. Leaving Iran with false documents is a crime punishable by up to five years imprisonment. She is likely to be imprisoned longer due to her previous political involvement in Iran and her rejected refugee status in Canada. Immigration Canada claimed that because they would not be escorting Haleh to Iran, that she could just lie to the Iranian authorities about where she has been for the past three years.

 

After the hearing, Haleh’s family and supporters, the Federation of Iranian Refugees, No One Is Illegal, the Anti-Poverty Committee, the Downtown Eastside Resident’s Association, the Bus Riders Union, Stop War joined the War Resisters for a rally outside of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to protest Haleh’s deportation. Women in Haleh’s family spoke strongly about the links between the women killed in Montreal fourteen years ago and the oppression women face today in Iran.

 

Canada is well aware of the record of deteriorating human rights in Iran due to the Canadian government’s own investigation into the death of journalist Zahra Kazemi at the hands of Iranian authorities. But Immigration Canada is still sending Haleh, and many other Iranians back to an unsafe and potentially deadly situation. If Canada really wants to take action on violence of women, this country must stop deporting women now. Stop the deportations now!

ACTIONS...

URGENT!!

DEMO TO PROTEST DEPORTATION OF IRANIAN WOMAN

STOP THE DEPORTATIONS NOW!!

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><>

 

DEMO @ CITZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA (CIC)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7 AT 8:30 AM

300 W. GEORGIA

 

** After the demo there will then be a caravan to the airport**

 

VANCOUVER AIRPORT @ INTERNATIONAL DEPARTURES

9:30 AM

 

<><><><><><><><><><><><>

 

URGENT!!   STOP THE DEPORTATION OF HALEH SAHBA- --GRANT HER LANDED STATUS IN CANADA

<><><><><><><><><><><>

PACK FEDERAL COURT HEARING
701 WEST GEORGIA
MONDAY DECEMBER 6 AT 9:30 AM

PICKET CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION CANADA
300 WEST GEORGIA
MONDAY DECEMBER 6 AT NOON

For more information
Contact No One is Illegal Vancouver
noii-van@resist.ca or call 604-682-3269 ext. 7149

<><><><><><><><><><><><>

Please support Haleh; by immediate email, fax and phone call. This is her only chance of winning!

* SAMPLE LETTER *

Judy Sgro, P.C., M.P.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1
Fax: 613-947-8319, Tel: 613-992-7774
E-mail:
Minister@cic.gc.ca

Anne McLellan, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
c/o Solicitor General of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-990-9077, Tel: 613-991-2924
E-mail:
McClellan.A@parl.gc.ca


I would like to draw your attention to Haleh Sahba, a 30-year old refugee claimant in Vancouver- Canada whose is facing deportation to Iran on Tuesday Dec 7, 2004. Now, after 3 years of trying to build a life here, Immigration Canada, with less than one week notice, has booked a flight to deport her to Iran on Tuesday Dec 7, 2004 at 10:30 AM.

Haleh fled Iran as women’s right activist and student activist involved in the movement for democracy in Iran. Haleh and others in her family have been active since a young age for womens rights in Iran. Her aunt is a well-known activist who fled Iran due to her work. Haleh herself was abused by her husband due to her increasing work as an activist. Due to her activites she was banned from Tehran University for three years (1997-2000) and only allowed to return in 2000 with many restrictions and conditions. In July 2000, she was arrested as one of the protest organizers at Tehran University. Upon being released from jail, Haleh went into hiding and fled Iran in 2000 and arrived in Canada in January 2001.

Haleh worked as assistant manager in a Star Bucks for almost 2 years also carries a degree in English Studies and is a highly experienced piano teacher. During her stay in Canada, she actively supported and participated in the Iranian movement for women’s rights and volunteered and organized with various women centres.

Haleh’s family lives in Canada. She has no one in Iran and no prospects for employment. Being forced to return to Iran has always been her greatest fear. Once in Iran, she will certainly be detained (leaving Iran with false documents is a crime punishable by upto 5 years imprisonment)and probably imprisoned for even longer due to her previous activities in Iran and also her involvement in Canada, which places her at far greater risk.

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, the Immigration Canada is sending Haleh, and others Iranians, back to serious danger.

I urge you to please consider the mounting support for Haleh from community groups, student groups, womens groups, and members of political parties. I urge you to intervene in the case of Haleh on humanitarian and compassionate grounds to allow her the right to remain in Canada and be granted regularized status immediately.

Sincerely,
(Your name and address)