Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Toronto, Ontario – Immigration detainee Amin Mjasiri, detained for over 28 months, has been on hunger strike in the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay, Ontario for 58 days. Neither family, supporters nor legal counsel have heard from Amin in almost two weeks and concerns are growing for his well being. Amin has been kept in segregation for nearly 40 days. Today, Amin’s family are launching a petition calling on Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney and Prime Minister Stephen Harper to release him and those in indefinite detention.
“My wife and I have not been in touch with our son, Amin Mjasiri, for weeks. He has been on hunger strike in segregation for almost 60 days, and we do not know how he is doing” says Amin’s father Mohamed Mjasiri. “Our family is extremely concerned about his well-being, and we are urging Prime Minister Harper to intervene before we lose our son. Holding him in detention indefinitely is of no benefit to him, his family or the general public. Today, we are launching a petition urging others across Canada to join in our request.”
Amin is striking in order to protest his indefinite immigration detention and is calling for his freedom. For this he has been punished by spending the past 40 days in solitary confinement.
Doctor Tarek Loubani, who went to visit Amin on November 4th says “As a physician and as a Canadian, I am troubled by the fact that I was denied a visit with Mr. Amin Mjasiri. I am also troubled by the insistence of prison officials that Mr. Amin Mjasiri is not allowed independent medical examination.”
“These detainees must be freed immediately, and Canada must observe the basic human right for all people to be not be jailed without charge or cause,” Loubani continues.
Immigration consultant Macdonald Scott has been retained by Amin Mjasiri’s family but has been unable to speak to him. “Mr Mjasiri is on hunger strike to protest his indefinite detention that contravenes international legal norms and United Nations recommendations. Instead of providing him fair access to legal counsel, Immigration Enforcement and the Provincial Correctional Services have locked him in solitary confinement for peacefully protesting his unjust incarceration.”
Josh Gilbert, a member of the End Immigration Detention Network, who had been in frequent contact with Amin by phone shares the concerns of the Mjasiri family.
“The last time I spoke with Amin Mjasiri, he told me that he and Lynval Daley were being mistreated by the guards in segregation. He told me they would taunt him and felt like they were being silenced for peacefully protesting their unjust multi-year detention. Amin told me just in the last 30 days there had been two fires in segregation. Whenever we spoke he would tell me that he would phone me every other day and that was a week and a half ago. I haven’t heard from him since.”
“It is quite obvious the Central East Correctional Centre is trying to silence two immigration detainees who have been hunger-striking for almost 60 days to protest their unjust detention in maximum security prison in indefinite detention,” Gilbert adds.”Lynval Daley and Amin Mjasiri have collectively spent over 6 years in immigration detention in maximum security provincial prisons for no charges, essentially for nothing. They are being tortured in segregation for standing up for themselves and can’t be persuaded by anything but freedom.”
General petition for the hunger strikers (nearly 2000 figures):http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/harper-end-indefinite-immigration-detention