Victory for Ali Reza Monemi
January 11, 2005
Ali-Reza's brother and father on Day 3 of the Hunger Strike
At 5 pm last night, less than twelve hours prior to his deportation, Ali Reza
received news that he was granted a Stay of Deportation from Federal Court.
Unable to contain her joy at two major victories within one day (the release of
Ali from detention and his stay), his mother merely smiled throughout the rally
with an occassional "Stop the Deportations! No One is Illegal."
Ali's victory to remain in Canada, at least temporarily, was due to the
massive support and mobilization and the ongoing hunger strike. Even the judges
commented on the public support as evidence that this was an unjust deportation.
During the weekend, over 300-400 supporters dropped by to offer solidarity and
support for the hunger strike, to the family, and to the campaign demands.
The hunger strike in sub zero temperatures was called off yesterday
afternoon, but supporters from the Iranian Federation of Refugees and No One is
Illegal vow to continue to fight for hundreds of others facing imminent
deportation at the hands of Immigration Canada. The day that Ali was detained,
there were at least ten other men with him in the holding cells of CIC.
It must be made clear that Ali's fight to remain in Canada is not over yet.
He has merely been granted the chance to remain in Canada while a Federal Court
judge decides whether to allow Ali leave to Federal Court to review his
Pre-Removal Risk Assesment (PRRA), then the judge must decide whether to grant
him a new PRRA, and if so, he must file another PRRA and then wait for a
positive decision. He may recieve a deportation date again which points out the
fundamental flaws of the immigration system. A system which plays with peoples
lives by ordering deportation dates when they have not yet finished the refugee
In the coming month, there are at least a dozen more deportations and
people are fearing for their lives. The support and resistance waged by Ali and
Haleh's family and supporters must continue on in the fight for all immigrant
and refugee rights and demand an end to deportations.
Please do get in touch to support various community organizations and
families fighting the ongoing barrage of deportations.
Also the demands set forth during the hunger strike (see below) are still
part of an ongoing campaign to Stop Deportations to Iran and we strongly
encourage organizations to continue to support the campaign by sending
endorsements. The campaign to Stop Deportations to Iran will be organizing more
public events in coming months and is also heavily involved in the Canadian
Refugee Camp, which involves various immigrant/refugee communties who have been
resisting the war waged by Immigration Canada for over a century.
JUSTICE FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES NOW!
STOP THE DEPORTATIONS!
No One is Illegal Vancouver
(pictures and reports from the hunger strike are on the website)
STOP UNJUST DEPORTATIONS TO IRAN
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
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
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