STOP UNJUST DEPORTATIONS TO IRAN
January 11, 2005
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.
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
No One is Illegal-Vancouver
STATEMENT ON THE POSSIBLE WAR IN IRAN AND DEPORTATION OF IRANIAN REFUGEES
May 19, 2005
The Iranian Federation of Refugees in BC is a community based group with hundreds of members and supporters. Our organization is a vital part of the anti-war movement and the movement for justice for immigrants and refugees. Today it is our duty to speak out against any potential invasion of Iran by the U.S government and to voice our opposition amidst all other voices to protect the lives of thousands of Iranians in Canada and within Iran.
Aside from all the bloodshed of an imperialist war, a US invasion or intervention would give the Iranian theocratic dictatorship, against which we have struggled for decades, an excuse to repress and imprison political dissidents in Iran. For over half a century, the US has intervened and sabotaged all social and mass progressive movements within Iran in the process of securing its own economic and political interests. Upon the possible commencement of a war against Iran, we will have to fight both the US and the Iranian dictatorship, as our brothers and sisters of the Iraqi resistance are courageously doing. The history of US involvement in Iran and in other countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Columbia, Panama, Vietnam, and countless other places demonstrates that the United States has always supported the most dictatorial and repressive forces in its self-serving covert and overt operations. The United States cannot install or export democracy to Iran via military occupation and invasion. Only an uprising of the Iranian people can produce genuine democracy. The Iranian people have a rich and long history of struggling for democracy and independence since the early 20th century. These relentless struggles have taken place in the face of British colonial interests, US Imperialism, and repressive internal regimes.
The racism so deeply entrenched against Arab and Muslim peoples in the Middle East replicates itself in the West, where hundreds of Iranian refugees, readily deemed ‘terrorists’ or ‘fanatics’, are increasingly facing deportation. For the overwhelming majority of Iranian refugees, refugee determination in Canada is a one-step process because there is in fact no full merit based appeal in Canada. For example, one of the limited avenues in the refugee process, the Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, had an overall national acceptance rate of less than 3% in the year 2004.
Meanwhile, the Canadian government has signed the Safe Third Country Agreement, disallowing refugees from seeking asylum in Canada if they first arrived in the U.S. This major attack on asylum seekers mimics historic Canadian immigration policies such as the “None is Too Many” policy against Jewish refugees. Our struggle against deportations of Iranian refugees continues within the context of a larger movement of immigrants and refugees throughout Canada, who are standing up to the exclusionary policies of Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
For over 20 years, the Iranian Federation of Refugees in BC has been organizing collectively against deportation, detention, and for status, by actively engaging in political campaigns with the support of thousands of people across the country and the world. We have, for example, struggled with Haleh Sahba, an Iranian women’s-rights activist, who was deported in December 2004. The Canadian government, in deporting Haleh, assured her of her safety in Iran. Yet it is now widely reported that she was detained and faces serious charges. At the present time, there at least 20 other Iranians- political dissidents, activists, and women’s rights activists- face imminent deportation in coming weeks.
The U.S government and its imperialist allies say they want democracy in Iran, but continue to detain and deport Iranian political activists who are seeking asylum- Iranian refugees who are the real fighters and defenders of democracy. We are oppressed and repressed from the Iranian dictatorship and the governments of the West. We call upon all peace-loving people opposing war, militarization and racism to stand up for the rights of Iranian people in Iran and in Canada. We demand an end to deportations and detentions of Iranian refugees from Canada and regularization of status for all Iranian refugees. We also stand in support of our Iranian sisters and brothers in Iran who oppose both U.S imperialism and the repressive Iranian regime and who continue to fight for genuine democracy and self-determination for all Iranian people.
The Iranian Federation of Refugees.
Endorsed by No One is Illegal
- Endorse the statement by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 778-552-2099
- The Iranian Federation of Refugees will be organizing several upcoming events on the deportation of Iranian Refugees and the current political situation in Iran. Please support these events by attending and spreading the word.