Toronto – Jailed for 7 years without charge and denied a hearing by the Federal Court of Canada, immigration detainee Michael Mvogo, is petitioning the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for his release from arbitrary and indefinite detention (detailed backgrounder attached).
Mr Movgo is one hundreds of migrants Canadian immigration enforcement is holding in maximum security jails indefinitely because it cannot deport them, in contravention of UN recommendations and international legal practice. Over 191 migrants are in strike in Lindsay detention centre since September 17, 2013, 8 of them on hunger strike locked up in solitary confinement, protesting prison conditions and indefinite detention (details and audio statements below). #MigrantStrike detainees are insisting that they either be removed within 90 days or released.
WHAT: Press briefing by Macdonald Scott & Jean Vecina (Counsel for Michael Mvogo) and Syed Hussan of No One Is Illegal – Toronto on the case of Michael Mvogo and indefinite and arbitrary immigration detention in Canada.
WHERE: Outside the Federal Court House, 180 Queen West
WHEN: 11am, October 23, 2013
VISUALS: Lawyers, and activists holding pictures of Michael Mvogo and others in indefinite detention, dropping off the complaints package in to a mail box.
MICHAEL MVOGO: “I’ve spent nearly a decade in jail and this suffering does not look like its going to end. The Federal Court won’t hear my case. I’ve been forced to go on hunger strike, and to approach the United Nations because the Canadian immigration system is just broken. Canada should either remove immigrants like me within 90 days, or release me. Jailing people endlessly should not be an option.”
JEAN VECINA, Counsel for Mr Mvogo: “Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the criteria developed by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Mr Mvogo’s continued incarceration is abitrarity in so far as it is indefinite and he is unable to challenge it fairly. Denied access to legal remedies, or even a fair hearing in Canadian courts, he is forced to petition and complain to the United Nations.
MACDONALD SCOTT, Immigration Consultant for Mr. Mvogo: “Mr Mvogo challenged the the constitutional validity of the Canadian Immigration Detention scheme insomuch as the lack of a presumptive period (a set period a person can be held to be removed from Canada) allows for indefinite detention. He along with hundreds of others are suffering as a result of Canada’s broken laws.”
SYED HUSSAN, Organizer, No One Is Illegal – Toronto: “Overstaying your immigration visa cannot be grounds for incarceration. Jailing someone simply for wishing to live and work in a country not of their birth is not justice. Indefinite detention with no hope of release on top of that is cruel, inhumane and appalling. Many people agree: Nearly 200 detainees are on strike for the last month, over 1,500 people have signed a petition in support and now Mr Mvogo is going to the United Nations. The tide on immigration detention is turning. ”
Download audio statements from detainees on #MigrantStrike right here: https://endimmigrationdetention.com/category/from-detainees/