Detainee Mohamed Mahjoub Speaks at Toronto ENEMY ALIEN screening
March 26, 2012
People thought the film was very impactful, and they saw direct parallels to the Canadian context. Following the Enemy Alien screening, Mohamed Mahjoub (facebook.com/SupportMahjoub), living under a security certificate since 2000, spoke to the gathering about his case and said the film really spoke to his own personal experience.
A security certificate is an extraordinarily draconian measure in Canadian immigration law that enables non-citizens to be held, without charge, almost indefinitely, under vague allegations of being a "terrorist threat" and on the basis of secret evidence that is never shown to the detainee. Mahjoub, an Egyptian refugee and father of two, was detained pursuant to a "security certificate" in 2000, first in Toronto, then at the max-security Kingston Immigration Holding Centre. He was then placed under house arrest in 2007 and was only recently released from house arrest as he pursues his legal case.
This screening of Enemy Alien was the first of NOII's new film series "Whose Borders?" which was started to showcase films that speak to the violence of borders, and to highlight the ways in which communities struggle against those borders in defense of their lands/rights. Our goal is to always start with one film about indigenous struggles; this screening began with a short film about KI First Nation: http://www.facebook.com/TorontoKISupport and a speaker from the KI Support Committee.
Through this film series, which we hope to hold every 1-2 months, NOII wanted to showcase films of vital but seldom-told stories as a way to outreach beyond the Toronto left/activist scene. Toronto is host to a number of film festivals and we wanted to reach out to more mainstream audiences that frequent such events. Enemy Alien was an auspicious film to kick off the series in that it was a high-quality, well-produced and well-told story, that helped give our film series credibility.
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