A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Canada, OCAP* Immigration: Appeals and Updates

From OCAP <ocap@tao.ca>
Date Thu, 14 Oct 2004 11:30:04 +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
________________________________________________

1. Funding Appeal for Afghani Family
2. Support Letters needed for Russian Family facing Deportation
3. Roma Refugee in Solitary Confinement and on Hunger Strike
4. Support Anti-Fascist Refugee Viktor Kononovich
5. Bring him home: Update on Mohamed Cherfi
6. Tilo Johnson: Deported to Nigeria
1. FUNDRAISING APPEAL FOR AFGHANI FAMILY TRYING TO GET TO CANADA
About a year and a half ago, OCAP made an appeal for sponsors for an
Afghani family caught with out status in Pakistan and attempting to flee
to Canada. 5 sponsors quickly came forward and we were able to
successfully complete a "Group of 5" Sponsorship. Now, the Sahibzadah
family: Anisa (their widowed mom) and her 5 daughters, is preparing to
come to Canada. They have completed all their paperwork and the major
remaining issue, as always, is money.

In 1999, with the brutal Taliban ruling the country and the economy in
shambles, the 6 of them and Anisa's husband fled to Pakistan. Not having
citizenship, none of the girls could go to school and it was illegal for
anyone in the family to work. They found shelter sometimes in hospital
corridors and other times with family friends. Ironically, they found
themselves in a worse situation than when they were living in Afghanistan.
So, in July 2001, the whole family returned to Afghanistan. The US and
its allies then embarked on their bombing of Afghanistan. In October,
Anisa's husband was killed during the bombings in Jalalabad. In December
2001, widowed Anisa and her daughters again fled to Pakistan in order to
seek refuge from the war. They have been living there illegally for since
then, again with no prospects for employment or education.

OCAP is fundraising towards their airfare and basic living expenses for
the first year that they are in Canada. As a sponsored family, they are
forbidden from collecting social assistance. Thankfully, they have been
offered free housing through a friend and supporter in Toronto, but they
are desperately in need of significant funds to get here and settle.

What can you do to help?

-Send cheques to the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, earmarked: Afghani
sponsorship
-Encourage your union local or faith group to donate money to support the
Sahibzadah family
-Organize a collection in your union or congregation
-Pass this email on to other potential supporters
-Hold a fundraiser for the family, or get more involved in fundraising
efforts by giving Sarah a call at OCAP: 416-925-6939


2. MOTHER AND SON FACE DEPORTATION: LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO IMMIGRATION
OFFICER N. STOCKS NEEDED WITHIN THE WEEK

Irina Isakova and her 11 year old son, Daniel, have lived in Canada for 6
years. Having left a life of poverty in Russia, Irina first attempted to
settle in Israel, where her son was born. As a Russian Immigrant, she
faced serious barriers in establishing herself there. Daniel's father was
abusive and terrorized the family. Because he was a business man with a
cozy relationship with local police, Irina could not find adequate
protection for herself and her son. They fled to Canada, believing the PR
that they would find safety and opportunity here.

Irina's refugee claim was denied and she is on the verge of deportation.
Her application for Landing on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds is
about to be adjudicated, but to have a chance of success she must show
that she is well established in Canada. She has done all the ?right?
things to try to establish herself: upgrading her education, volunteering,
and seeking stable work in her field (as a teacher). But, Irina is caught
in a Catch-22 situation. She has to show that she's established to get
status (read: good job, active volunteer, and money in the bank), but it's
virtually impossible to do these things with out having any legal status.
Though she has Teaching Diplomas from both Russia and Israel she can not
get a job in her field because she has no status. Instead, she has been
working in a Pizza place for the last 3 years. She has taken courses and
volunteered as much as possible but it is not easy when you're also
working frequent night shifts (6pm to 4am) and trying to raise a young
child.

Irina and Daniel want to stay in Canada and maintain their 5 year old
relationship with Irina's Canadian fiancé, Erekle. Erekle has been a
father to Daniel and he, in particular, will be devastated if he is forced
to separate for him.

Please write a short letter of support for their case.
WE NEED THEM WITHIN THE NEXT 7 DAYS.

Points to include in your letter:
- address the letter to Immigration Officer, N. Stocks
- state clearly who you are
- urge Immigration Canada to grant Irina Isakova and her son Daniel landed
status in Canada
- detail reasons why you feel they should be allowed to stay

*** please fax your letters to OCAP at (416) 925-9681 but CALL FIRST so we
can clear the line. OCAP's phone number is (416) 925-6939 ***


3. JUSTICE FOR ADRIAN DRAGAN

ROMA REFUGEE IN SOLITARY CONFINEMENT AND ON HUNGER STRIKE

Adrian Dragan, a Roma refugee that has been held for 16 months awaiting
removal to Romania, has been put into solitary confinement at Fraser
Pre-trial in Coquitlam, BC after refusing to sign documents that he is
willing to return to Romania.

He is a Roma (also known as "Gypsy") and faces serious danger and
repression if removed to Romania, where Roma people are regularly attacked
and persecuted. In fact, Adrian renounced his citizenship in Romania in
1993 to condemn the racism against Roma there, and since he does not have
formal citizenship, he is now being held in jailed limbo, without rights
as a citizen in either Canada or Romania.

Canada has already tried once to send Adrian to Romania, but he was
refused at the Romanian border. Since he is no longer a citizen of
Romania, it would have been against international law to force him to
enter, so he was sent back to Canada and is now in continued detention by
Immigration Canada.

Liviu Maior, the Ambassador of Romania to Canada, has stated in writing
that “pursuant to the Romanian and international laws, the
stateless person Adrian Dragan has no more legal connection with
Romania…Romania would receive the stateless person Adrian Dragan only as a
result of the latter's express will.” And yet Canadian officials persist
unable to deport him and refusing to release him.

As a stateless citizen, Dragan has no homeland and no country of
residence. As a signatory of the United Nations’ 1954 Convention Relating
to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the
Reduction of Statelessness, Canada has an international duty to accept and
protect stateless people.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

1. In the immediate, Adrian is on hunger strike. So it is essential that
people put pressure on the Coquitlam jail. Please take five minutes to
call the Director of Programs, Ardith Watson (see below).

2. Call, write or fax the appropriate Canadian government officials. A
sample letter is provided below.

Take the time to demand that:

- Adrian’s documents be returned to him
- Adrian be released from solitary confinement and not be repressed for
asserting his rights as an aslyum seeker by refusing to sign documents
that state he is willing to be deported to Romania
- Canada live up to its obligations under the United Nations Convention on
the Reduction of Statelessness and not deport him to Romania unless the
government can guarantee Adrian's complete citizenship rights, safety and
freedom in Romania.

For more information, contact:
No One is Illegal Vancouver: noii-van@resist.ca/ (604) 682-3269 x 7149
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty: ocap@tao.ca/ (416) 925-6939

==================================================

SAMPLE LETTER:

Ardith Watson, Director of Programs
North Fraser Pre-trial Center
1451 Kingsway,
Port Coquitlam BC, V3C 1S2
Fax: 604-468-3556
Telephone: 604-468-3500 x 0

Peter Lundy
Deputy Director, Central Europe Dept
Foreign Affairs Canada
613-996-7800

Embassy of Romania
655 Rideau Street
Ottawa, ON K1N 6A3
Fax: 789-4365
Tel: (613) 789-3709 x101/(613) 789-5345 / (613) 789-4038
romania@cyberus.ca

Romanian Consulate
111 Peter St.
Toronto, ON M5V 2H1
Phone: 416/585-5802
Fax: 416/585 4798

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: McLellan.A@parl.gc.ca

------------------------------

Adrian Dragan, a Roma refugee that has been held for 16 months awaiting
removal to Romania, has been put into solitary confinement at Fraser
Pre-trial in Coquitlam, BC after refusing to sign documents that he is
willing to return to Romania. He is currently on hunger strike in protest
of his continuing treatment by the Canadian government.

He is a Roma (also known as "Gypsy") and faces serious danger and
repression if removed to Romania, where Roma people are regularly attacked
and persecuted. In fact, Adrian renounced his citizenship in Romania in
1993 to condemn the racism against Roma there, and since he does not have
formal citizenship, he is now being held in jailed limbo, without rights
as a citizen in either Canada or Romania.

Canada has already tried once to send Adrian to Romania, but he was
refused at the border and sent back to Canada, to continued detention by
Immigration Canada.

On behalf of Adrian, I demand that all of Adrian’s documents that were
confiscated be returned to him, that Adrian not be compelled in any way to
sign documents that state that he is willing to be returned to Romania,
and that Adrian be release from solitary confinement immediately.

I find it deplorable that Canada would treat asylum seekers in such a
manner: placing them under duress in order to compel them to “agree” to be
deported. Canada must live up to its obligations under the United
Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness and not deport him to
Romania unless the government can guarantee Adrian's complete citizenship
rights, safety and freedom in Romania.

Sincerely,

4. SUPPORT ANTI-FASCIST REFUGEE VIKTOR KONONOVICH

Viktor Kononovich is facing deportation to his native Belarus. Since
coming to Canada, he has met and married his wife, Pauline, a Canadian
citizen. They now have a young son, Alexander. Viktor is the family's sole
breadwinner. It is crucial that his permanent resident application on
humanitarian grounds processing be sped up, to prevent him from being sent
back to a place where he will likely face imprisonment, physical attacks
or even death.

Viktor came to Canada over two years ago to apply for refugee status. He
had been involved in organizing anti-fascist and anti-nuclear protests in
Belarus, as well as monitoring the activities of a right-wing
pro-government paramilitary group known as the Russian National Union.
This work put him in direct conflict with the authoritarian government of
Alexander Lukashenko. Before leaving the country, Viktor faced harassment
and physical attacks from both the police and the Russian National Union.
On one occasion, after a peaceful demonstration, police, who suffocated
him to the point that he lost consciousness, took him into custody. On
other occasions he was beaten by police, and faced threatening phone calls
and surveillance. The door of his apartment was set on fire, and funeral
wreaths were delivered to his home with the names of his family members on
them. Police laughed when he complained.

Other Belarusian dissidents have, in past, disappeared without a trace.
The police have shown reluctance to seriously investigate their cases.
Over the past year, physical attacks on dissidents have continued unabated
and President Lukashenko has banned a number of human rights and legal aid
organizations that had previously provided help for opponents of the
government. Crackdowns on opposition parties, labour unions, anti-Russian
nationalists, minority religious groups (particularly Jews and Jehovah's
Witnesses), intellectuals, journalists, democratic institutions,
non-governmental organizations and opponents of the government have
intensified. The fact that war memorials are often vandalized with
pro-fascist slogans underlines the similarities between Nazi Germany and
today's Belarus. There seems little hope for immediate change. Since 1995,
all elections in Belarus have been condemned as unfair by the Organization
for Security and Cooperation In Europe (OSCE).

Viktor was rejected for his refugee application largely because he could
not produce a membership card for the Belarusian Popular Front, an
opposition party to which he belonged. However, given the danger
associated with carrying a Belarusian Popular Front card, it is not
surprising that the party rarely issued any.

Both on the grounds of his family obligations in Canada and the intense
danger that he faces in Belarus, it is important that the Minister of
Immigration intervene to speed up Viktor's permanent resident application
on humanitarian grounds and prevent his deportation.

Please take a moment to sign the petition or a sample letter, and send
them to:

Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain Street
Toronto, ON
M5A 1R6

Fax: 416 925-9681
ocap@tao.ca

For more information contact 416-999-6885
------------------------------------------
SAMPLE LETTER

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Judy Sgro
Rm 239, Confederation Bldg
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6

Dear Ms Sgro,

RE: KONONONVICH, Viktor
Client File No.: 4203 5170

I am writing to ask you to use your discretion under section 25 of the
Immigration Refugee Protection Act to speed the processing of Viktor
Kononovich's permanent resident application, and visa waiver on
humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

This application is made with a sponsorship from his wife, Pauline
Kononovich, who is a Canadian citizen. They have a Canadian born child
together, Alexander, whose interests are very important to consider. As
well, Viktor is the main breadwinner in the family, and they will be
destitute without him.

Viktor came to Canada over two years ago to apply for refugee status. He
had been involved in organizing anti-fascist and anti-nuclear protests in
Belarus, as well as monitoring the activities of a right-wing
pro-government paramilitary group known as the Russian National Union.
This work put him in direct conflict with the authoritarian government of
Alexander Lukashenko. Before leaving the country, Viktor faced harassment
and physical attacks from both the police and the Russian National Union.
On one occasion, after a peaceful demonstration, police, who suffocated
him to the point that he lost consciousness, took him into custody. On
other occasions he was beaten by police, and faced threatening phone calls
and surveillance. The door of his apartment was set on fire, and funeral
wreaths were delivered to his home with the names of his family members on
them. Police laughed when he complained.

If he is removed to Belarus he will face serious danger, and his family
will separated from their father and main breadwinner. Please use your
discretion and speed up the processing so that Viktor may be safe and his
family together.

Yours truly,

Your name
Your address

PETITION

TO THE MINISTER OF CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION

We the undersigned ask you to use your discretion under section 25 of the
Immigration Refugee Protection Act to speed the processing of Viktor
Kononovich's permanent resident application, and visa waiver on
humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

Name Address Signature


5. BRING MOHAMED CHERFI HOME:
UPDATE - Mohamed Cherfi still remains in distress

Mohamed Cherfi endured another hearing before an American immigration
tribunal this past Monday, September 27, 2004. It was a long and stressful
day that ended with yet another long and stressful wait. The judge will
not give his decision until October 22. It's a ridiculous and unacceptable
delay, which means Mohamed will continue to be detained. He has been in
detention in the United States since March 5, 2004, after his sanctuary
was violated inside the Saint Pierre Church in Quebec City, and he was
immediately deported.

Below you will find a press release issued by the Mohamed Cherfi
Solidarity Committee following Mohamed's hearing. More information to come
soon.

Please feel free to contact:
The Mohamed Cherfi Solidarity Committee
Tel: 418-262-0144
E-mail: solimo2004@yahoo.fr
http://www.mohamedcherfi.org
The No One Is Illegal Campaign of Montreal
Tel: 514-859-9023
E-mail: noii-montreal@resist.ca

PRESS RELEASE

Mohamed Cherfi still remains in distress; imprisoned for almost 7 months
Ottawa and Quebec City must intervene now!

Montreal, September 28, 2004 -- The Mohamed Cherfi Solidarity Committee is
urging Canadian and Quebec Immigration authorities to accelerate their
consideration of the application for the collective sponsorship of
Mohamed, so that he can be brought to safety as soon as possible. The
situation of distress and anguish that Mohamed has lived in prison for
seven months is reinforced by the decision of the American authorities to
delay the judgment of Mohamed?s asylum claim until October 22, when it is
possible for a decision to be given from the bench immediately.

"It only serves to make sure that Mohamed will suffer even longer," said
Louise Boivin, Mohamed's spouse. "The Canadian and Quebec authorities
don't have to wait for the Americans in order to make a decision cncerning
the request for collective sponsorship, so that Mohamed can obtain the
right of residency in Canada. The United States will probably refuse his
asylum request, as they do 95% of the time. Mohamed's health is
deteriorating and he is under very intense psychological pressure. Ottawa
and Quebec City have the power to put and end to this suffering by taking
urgent steps."

Five Quebec citizens filed a collective sponsorship request this past
June, a procedure that would permit Mohamed to obtain the right of
residency if the Canadian Immigration authorities, or the Quebec
authorities, judge that he meets the criteria. These persons, very much
involved in their community, will take on the responsibility of supporting
the sponsoree in establishing himself in Canada. The sponsorship group has
been accepted by Quebec, and the file is currently in the hands of
Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The Mohamed Cherfi Solidarity Committee, the sponsorship group, as well as
all the organizations represented today, demand that Ottawa and Quebec
City treat this case with urgency because of the distress that Mohamed is
living after seven months of the pressure of prison and the threat of
deportation to Algeria. He is losing his health.

Mohamed has been imprisoned in the United States since his arrest in the
sanctuary of the Saint Pierre Church in Quebec City, and subsequent
deportation on March 5, 2004. He is neither a criminal nor a terrorist. He
is a person whose personal security is threatened in his country of
origin, Algeria, as confirmed by Amnesty International and the Ligue des
droits et libertes. The criticisms of the Algerian regime that Mohamed has
expressed publicly means a higher level of risk for him in Algeria, due to
the systematic violation of human rights committed by the Algerian regime.

The demand of permanent residency in Canada for Mohamed, as soon as
possible, is supported by more than 250 organizations and public
personalities in Canada and Quebec (please consult the support section at
www.mohamedcherfi.org) and by thousands of people who have expressed their
support by sending letters to government authorities or signing petitions
in the past seven months.

30-


6. TILO JOHNSON DEPORTED

On Tuesday September 21st, one day after a last ditch attempt to stop his
deportation in Federal Court, Tilo Johnson was deported by Canadian
authorities to Nigeria, the country he had fled years before. The judge
in his case quickly dismissed all arguments presented to him, including
the risk and persecution he would face upon return to Nigeria, as well as
being forced to abandon his pending lawsuit against Canadian prison guards
for abusive treatment. He also dismissed arguments put forward concerning
the Immigration officer deciding to deport Tilo without bothering to
provide any written reasons for her decision. Most notably, the judge
dismissed arguments concerning the well-being of Tilo's 4 year old
daughter, whom he is likely never to see again, announcing that separation
of this father and child would constitute nothing more than 'typical
pain'.

>From the time of his arrival in Canada, Tilo was forced to fight a
difficult battle on many different fronts, spending three of his years in
this country in jail - as well as his final weeks. Please take the time
to read his personal statement (http://www.ocap.ca/immigration/tilo.html)

The final option of trying to stay a deportation by going to Federal Court
is one chosen by people with no other legal options. As with many people,
in Tilo's case, the $3750 in legal fees was loaned by three individuals
who are not in any position to front such an amount. If you or anyone you
know is in a position to help pay these people back, please send cheques
ASAP to:

OCAP
10 Britain St.
Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
** earmark your cheques for 'Tilo Johnson - Federal Court'

Tilo was imprisoned by Immigration officials pending his forced removal to
Nigeria. In such circumstances, he had no choice but to rely on the
Canadian court system and hope that justice would be served in his case.
Tilo's treatment in court underlines the Canadian State's attitude towards
poor immigrants of colour. The Canadian government can not be relied upon
to treat people with decency. The demand for status for all will only be
achieved through broad-based collective action.


**
Ontario Coalition Against Poverty
10 Britain St. Toronto, ON M5A 1R6
416-925-6939 ocap@tao.ca www.ocap.ca
**
_______________________________________________
ocap mailing list
ocap@masses.tao.ca
https://masses.tao.ca/lists/listinfo/ocap
============================
* [Ed. Note: OCAP is antiauthoritarian anticapitalist
direct action social struggle initiative.]


*******
********
****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
******
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Options for all lists at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html


A-Infos Information Center