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(en) Canada, Toronto, news releace of OCAP*: IMPORTANT: Campos Family Update

From OCAP <ocap@tao.ca>
Date Tue, 10 Aug 2004 21:20:09 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

NOTICE: A call has gone out to support Oscar Campos at his court appearance tommorow.
Today a judge is considering whether to drop the charges and will decide by 5:00pm.
The hearing schedualed for tommorow has been cancelled. Oscar MAY be appearing
at Dufferin and Finch Court on Thursday morning. Please call the OCAP Office
after 7pm tonight for an update on when and where Oscar will next be appearing.
Wednesday August 11 Macdonald Block- 900 Bay St. 12 Noon until 1pm
Join with others on August 11th to remember Kimberly Rogers and the
many others who have lived under inadequate conditions, and to demand
an immediate raise to social assistance rates.

Sponsored by: the Ontario Coalition for Social Justice, the Ontario Needs a
Raise Campaign, and Justice with Dignity

For more Information, contact Dana Milne at 416-597-5820

One Year Anniversary of 'Project Thread' PreDawn Raid 24 men arrested,
only 7 remain.

Vigil in Toronto
August 13th, 2004
Corner of Gerrard and Highfield
One Block East of Greenwood

Help us mark this day.

TTC Directions:
Subway to Coxwell Station
Bus #22 to Gerrard
Walk two Blocks west on Gerrard
Corner of Gerrard and Highfield

On the eve of August 14th, we will gather to mark the day on which the
RCMP and Immigration Canada officials began a terrible spiral of events
which has forever altered the lives of a group of 24 South Asian Muslim
men. As a result of a predawn raid part of 'Project Thread', the majority
of the men have been deported from Canada, while those that remain must
live each day waiting and hoping for a positive resolution to their
applications currently pending before Immigration officials.

Early on August 14th, one year ago, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP) arrested 19 South Asian Muslim men in a predawn raid. Five other
men were arrested in the following weeks. The raid was part of 'Project
Thread', a joint investigation of Citizenship and Immigration Canada and
the RCMP, which claimed to have uncovered an 'Al Qaeda sleeper cell'. But
the allegations, which ranged from plotting to destroy the CN Tower and
the Pickering Nuclear Plant to setting off a radioactive 'dirty bomb,'
were based on 'evidence' such as that airline posters, put up by a
roommate whose father works for Lufthansa, were airplane 'schematics.' One
suspect was accused of examining the Pickering Nuclear Plant when in fact
he was in Pakistan at the time. Another piece of so-called evidence was
that when the Project Thread detainees were crammed in an apartment
together, many of them hadn.t ever cooked before and they would burn

Despite the fact that all terror allegations were dropped and no charges
ever laid, no statement of exoneration has been issued, nor have their
names been publicly cleared. Meanwhile, the men continued to be kept in
maximum security prison for months and the majority then deported. The
premise for detention and deportation became one of minor immigration
violations, irregardless of Canada.s implicit role in creating a situation
that made refugees of the men.

While in prison, guards at the Maplehurst Jail regularly awakened the
detainees with jibes of .Hey, Wake up Taliban. and .Wake up Al-Qaeda.. One
of the men, married on July 10, 2003, received a request for annulment
from his wife while still in prison. The men were denied access to lawyers
and legal aid and coerced into waving their right to the Pre-Removal Risk
Assessment (PRRA) process. Immigration officials blatantly lied to them
telling them that signing these waivers would mean a quick release from
jail, when all it meant was speedy deportation. Twelve men were quickly
and unscrupulously deported from Canada directly from prison, after
Immigration Canada authorities rushed them through pre-removal processes.
Five men were subsequently also removed. Of 24 men, a total of 17 have
been deported.

As a result of the so-called terror raid, the men had their faces flashed
across international media outlets. Many of the men subsequently made the
decision to stay and make refugee claims, after their lives were put at
risk as a result of unfounded accusations of terrorism, rather than return
to Pakistan, a country already wracked by great unrest and sectarian

For those who were deported, the circumstances faced upon return were as
such: three of the men were taken into federal custody and interrogated
for 16 hours. Despite the lack of evidence and never having been
criminally charged in Canada, these men are under continued investigation
by the Pakistani government. As a result, they are unable to leave the
country. Sajaad Ahmad, a certified physician, has lost his life.s work, as
no hospital will allow him to continue his practice. The impossibility of
finding work for all of the men has left them and their families
struggling to survive. Khaled Jehinger, another one of the ex-detainees,
was attacked and beaten by four masked men on motorcycles, who called him
a terrorist and told him to go back to Canada. The police, with knowledge
of the unfounded terror allegations, nevertheless refused to provide him a
police report and as a result, numerous hospitals refused to admit him.
After begging and pleading for treatment, Khaled was eventually
hospitalized for five days.

The Government of Canada has never issued an apology for its actions. The
men who were arrested have never had their names cleared. And as yet,
there has been no resolution to the men.s outstanding Immigration status.

Project Threadbare is a community group which formed after the raid, to
offer support and solidarity to those caught up in the unfounded sweep. In
the face of increased targeting of Muslims and South Asians, coupled with
state repression of community-based social justice organizing, Threadbare
and its supporters must continue to strengthen existing networks and build
new connections with people of color, immigrant communities, activist
groups, and all other supportive constituencies. This struggle is crucial
not only in gaining justice for these men, but in the long-term struggle
waged by people of colour against racist state targeting and unjust
immigration policy. We will not stand by silently while these attacks
continue to hurt our communities.

For more info, please contact:
Farrah Miranda,
Project Threadbare
* [Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca
ocap mailing list

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