MEDIA ADVISORY: Jailed migrants in critical condition as historic strike enters Day 15

cbsa blogMEDIA RELEASE
October 1, 2013
Jailed migrants in critical condition as historic strike enters Day 15
Lindsay, Guelph, Toronto – 191 migrants held in long-term indefinite detention are in critical condition as result of strike actions in a provincial jail in Lindsay, Ontario. At least six detainees have been hospitalized, and one Azuka Abagbodi is on dry hunger strike (no food or water) for the last three days. Migrants are striking against their long-term indefinite detention and prison conditions.“Canada can’t deport Azuka to his native Nigeria but refuses to release him to his family,” explains Mina Ramos who spoke to A. Abagbodi late Monday night. “It is absolutely heart wrenching listening to these migrants that have been jailed without charge or crime starving themselves to be heard while Canada Border Services and Minister Steven Blaney stay silent.”Strike action began on Tuesday, September 17th. A 24 hour hunger strike took place on Wednesday, September 18th, and all the detainees resumed the hunger strike on Monday September 23rd. Many of the detainees are still on hunger strike in what is the largest jailed migrant strike in recent history.
Over 800 people have a signed a petition in support (https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/meet-the-demands-of-striking-immigrant-detainees) Hear directly from migrants in detention: https://soundcloud.com/moominamur/an-interview-with-immigration 
“Migrants like Mr. Abagbodi are jailed indefinitely in direct contravention to the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights that demands that countries set a maximum period of time, called a presumptive period, that people can be detained pending removal,” explains immigration consultant Macdonald Scott who has three clients on strike in Lindsay. “In the United States and United Kingdom that period is 90 days but Canada has no such limits relying instead on a broken review process every 30 days where almost no one gets released.”“It costs Canada $239/day to hold a migrant in jail, for 200 people that’s over $17million a year,” says No One Is Illegal Toronto member Syed Hussan. “Yet these people are denied decent food, social support or even phone calls. This is an outrage that Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Corrections Minister Madeline Meilleur must explain.”#MigrantStrike demands:
– An end to long-term detention
– Better access to medical care and social workers
– Cheaper phone calls and access to international calling cards (many have family overseas)
– Access to better food, like the food on the non-immigration ranges
– An end to constant lockdowns
– Keep the improved canteen program going
– Better access to legal aid and legal services
– Granting of specific requests to move individuals to facilities nearer to their families, legal resources, and social services.Media Contacts

Mac Scott, Carranza LLP
647-761-3860

Mina Ramos, Fuerza/Puwersa
519 328 8835

Syed Hussan, No One Is Illegal – Toronto
416 453 3632
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