Media Liaison (English): Syed Hussan, 416 453 3632, Tings Chak (416 276 2174
Porte parole (Francais): Ciaran Breen (647 705 3294)
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Activists unlock 10 foot Scales of Injustice from Ministry of Public Safety Offices. Mass protest on Sunday.
Protesters will be marching to CBSA HQ on Sunday, June 15th: https://endimmigrationdetention.com/2014/06/12/answers-demanded-on-political-meddling-in-immigration-detention/
Ottawa – After 90 minutes to represent the 90 day limit on detentions pending deportation that jailed migrants’ supporters’ have been demanding, a a ten feet tall, golden, scale of injustice with a sign saying “No Justice in Immigration Detention” has been taken down from the Ministry of Public Safety offices (269 Laurier Avenue West). The protest today took place to demand answers from Prime Minister Harper and Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney after a recent report revealed political interference in federal immigration detention decision making. The action and report occur as over 100 immigrants jailed in three different maximum security prisons are boycotting their detention review hearings, insisting they are stacked against them insisting they are stacked against them. Migrants in a maximum security prison in Lindsay, ON have been protesting their unfair imprisonment since September 2013.
“These scales were to remind Harper and Blaney that justice is something we all believe in and fight for, its not something that the Tories can just play fast and loose with. Blaney uses a broken justice system to lock up migrants, so today the Scales of Injustice locked out his offices,” says Tings Chak.
Migrants in a maximum security prison in Lindsay, ON went on hunger strike in September 2013, two of them for 65 days. Detainees are demanding an end to indefinite detention, immigrant imprisonment in maximum security prisons, and an over overhaul of the Detention Review process. Detainee profiles and audio statements can be found at https://endimmigrationdetention.com/category/from-detainees/.
Nearly 80,000 migrants have been jailed without trial and charges by the Harper government, often for years at a time. The integrity of the immigration detention system rests on the Detention Review system, a bail-like process where migrants can appeal their continued jailing every 30 days. A recent report titled Indefinite, arbitrary and unfair: The truth about immigration detention in Canada compiled using documents obtained through Access to Information and Privacy Act requests shows signs of political interference in Detention Reviews as well as immense variations between board members and geographic region. See the report at http://www.truthaboutdetention.com
“Jailed migrants held for up to a decade without trial or charges are taking courageous risks to show us how blatantly unjust the system is. The government’s own documents show suspicious consistencies,” says No One Is Illegal – Toronto member Syed Hussan. “These scales are to remind Harper and Blaney that they’ve botched the immigration detention system beyond repair. Its time to end the injustice.”
Canada is one of the only ‘Western’ countries without a limit on detentions pending deportations. This is justified through the existence of a “robust” detention review process that takes place every 30 days. As a result Michael Mvogo and Vincent (spellling) have been held for 7 and 10 years respectively.146 migrants have been held for over six months. The robustness of Detention Review process has now been called into question.
Recent media coverage:
Toronto Star editorial (June 10): Red flags over Canada’s approach to detaining migrants who pose a flight risk.
CBC Metro Morning (June 10): Immigration Detention