The hunger strikers were visited by representatives from ICE yesterday, November 29.
1010 St. Antoine West
Ahmad Nafaa, a Palestinian refugee from Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp in
south Lebanon and an active member of the Coalition Against the
Deportation of Palestinian Refugees, was forcibly detained by metro-police
at Metro-McGill on Tuesday evening around 9 PM, and turned over to
Citizenship & Immigration Canada.
Within minutes of learning about Ahmad?s detention, dozens of members of
the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees and No One
is Illegal descended upon McGill Metro, attempting to intervene in
Immigration Canada?s operation to detain and eventually deport Ahmad
Nafaa. Scuffels erupted in the metro, between Ahmad?s supporters and the
Metro cops (STCUM), which resulted with two activists being detained and
eventually released prior to the arrival of Immigration Canada officials.
As Immigration Canada officials arrived outside the metro station, to take
Ahmad into custody, activists surrounded the Immigration Canada van,
blocking it?s passage, attempting to pry open the doors. Upwards of 30
metro-cops were deployed on the scene, along with numerous police and
security vehicles, who attacked the activists by force, throwing them to
the ground, hospitalizing one and arresting another. In this context, it
became clear that Immigration Canada, would could not detain and deport
Ahmad without a fight.
Currently Ahmad is being incarcerated at the Laval Detention Center,
awaiting imminent deportation, with the potential of a detention review
hearing in the next 48 hours. Ahmad now faces deportation to the U.S,
where he will be held in detention indefinitely, before he is ultimately
deported back to Ein el Hilweh camp.
In Canada, as a result of his refused refugee claim, Ahmad had been forced
to live underground, without access to basic services such as health care
and education. Ahmad remained in Canada due to fears of returning to that
which he initially fled, a life of statelessness without any basic civil
and human rights and facing daily dangers. Ahmed, like many other
Palestinian refugees from Lebanon, holds no citizenship to any country,
has no right to own property, and is legally barred from working in close
to 80 professions. Now, after struggling for his status and that of fellow
Coalition members, he ends up incarcerated. Seeking protection from
persecution, Ahmad again is in legal-limbo. With no status he is jailed,
criminalized, and faces long detention in the U.S. and ultimate
deportation to the refugee camp of Ein el Hilweh.
Ahmad's detention occurs as Palestinian refugees residing in Montreal
continue to actively organize for their basic rights, including an end to
deportations. Today's actions by Immigration Canada serve to imprison and
deport one of the most active members of the Coalition Against the
Deportation of Palestinian Refugees.
The deplorable actions of Immigration Canada will not quell the struggle
of the Palestinian refugees for status and dignity! The fight for justice
for Ahmad Nafaa and the 40 other Palestinians facing deportation will
strengthen and grow in the face of repression!
PLEASE ACT NOW! - !DEMONSTRATE TODAY AT 12:00!
CALL / FAX / EMAIL the Minister of Immigration & the as many of the CIC
officials listed at the bottom of the sample letter as you can:
WHEN YOU CALL, DEMAND THE FOLLOWING TWO THINGS:
1) Ahmad Nafaa be released from Laval Detention Center immediately;
2) Ahmad Nafaa be granted a stay of deportation, until his Humanitarian
and Compassionate appeal is processed.
For more Info: the Coalition Against the Deportation of Palestinian Refugees
November 24th, 2004
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada
CIC National Headquarters
365 Laurier, Jean Edmonds South Tower,
Fax: (613) 947-8319
Phone: (613) 954-1064
Honourable Judy Sgro,
We hereby request that you, as Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Canada, immediately order a stay of removal and thereby suspend the
deportation of Ahmad Nafaa (4277-4326), until his humanitarian and
compassionate application has been studied.
Pursuant to section 50(e) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, a
removal order is stayed for the duration of a stay imposed by the
Minister. Though the general control and supervision of enforcement and
removals has been transferred to the portfolio of the Solicitor General,
it remains at the discretion of Immigration Officers to issue a stay of
The Officers of Citizenship and Immigration Canada being possessed of the
authority to issue a stay of removal, we respectfully request that this
authority be exercised immediately with respect to Ahmad Nafaa.
Given that Ahmad Nafaa has been detained by the Canada Border Services
Agency, and has already been refused at the pre-removal risk assessment
level, his deportation is imminent. The Minster of Citizenship and
Immigration must act now to prevent this injustice.
The fact that Ahmad1s immediate deportation would be to the United States
does not materially affect his plight. The detention of those in Ahmad1s
situation is virtually automatic in the U.S. right now and, barring highly
exceptional circumstances, eventual deportation to his country of origin
is extraordinarily likely.
The situation is urgent. Barring Ministerial intervention, Ahmad Nafaa
faces imminent deportation.
Ahmad was born a stateless Palestinian in Ein El-Hilweh refugee camp in
Lebanon. As a result of persecution in Lebanon and the fear and poverty
that are facts of daily life in Ein El-Helweh refugee camp, the future is
bleak for the Palestinian refugees who reside there. Unemployment rates
are high due to the fact that Palestinians are banned from an
ever-increasing number of professions. Poverty rates are astronomical.
The restrictions on new constructions within the camp mean that the
population is forced to live in dilapidated and deplorable housing. All
of these factors lead to a situation so bleak for those residing in the
camp that suicide is a common occurrence.
After 20 years of life in the camp, the constant racism, discrimination,
fear, violence and poverty finally became a weight that was too heavy for
Ahmad to shoulder any longer and he fled the country and claimed refugee
status in Canada. His claim for convention refugee status was denied on
February 20, 2002, while his brother Mahmoud1s refugee claim, heard by a
different member of the refugee determination board, was accepted.
Since arriving in Canada Ahmad has become fully integrated in Canadian and
Quebec society. He has found himself reunited with a brother whom he had
not seen in more than five years and they have quickly reformed their
close familial bond and have become inseparable. Ahmad is currently
employed in the restaurant industry and is a self sufficient and
contributing member of society, he dreams of returning to school and
continuing the nursing degree that he began in Lebanon. After suffering
for so many years as a refugee he wishes to help alleviate the suffering
of others. In every sense of the word, Ahmad has found a home in Canada.
Ahmad Nafaa now faces deportation to the Palestinian refugee camps of
Lebanon, where the conditions faced by Palestinians are degrading and
dangerous. It is beyond dispute that the treatment of Palestinians by the
Lebanese government is in clear violation of a variety of norms of
international human rights law. Palestinians in Lebanon have been denied
their basic rights for over 56 years.
Moreover, this condition is directly related to the statelessness of
Palestinians. Because of their unique situation, Palestinians have been
denied not only the rights accorded to citizens but also access to the
international system for the protection of refugees.
In signing the United Nations Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
on July 17th, 1978. The Canadian government undertook a responsibility for
reducing statelessness. In returning Ahmad Nafaa to Lebanon, this
government would abdicate that responsibility. Therefore, the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration must act now and order a stay of removal for
Ahmad Nafaa pursuant to s. 50(e) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection
We thank you for your immediate attention in this matter,
CIC Montreal: Phone (514) 323-1212, Fax (514) 323 2875
Michel Dorais, Deputy Minister CIC: Fax: (613) 954-3509 or (613) 954-5448
John R. McWhinnie, Assistant Deputy Minister CIC: Fax: (613) 946-6048
Debra Normoyle, Director General: Enforcement Branch: Fax: (613) 954-6765
Marc Towaij, Senior Removals Advisor: Fax: (613) 954-5238
Michel Cot?, Removal Liason Officer: Phone: (613) 952-6896
Carole Lamarre: Director of Inland Services: Phone: (514) 283 9939
Ren? D1Aoust: Director Investigation & Removal: Phone: (514) 496-1238,
Fax: (514) 496-1882
Monique Leclair, Director General: CIC QC Regional Office: Fax: (514)
The government's "October Plan," allegedly aimed at preventing
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Please make one last push to stop the anti-immigrant provisions inserted into the bill, which have nothing to do with the 9/11 commission's recommendations.
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The ICE initiative consists of a stepped up effort to arrest a number of non-citizens whose immigration paperwork is "out of status."
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