ADVISORY: United Nations body issues damning opinion against Canadian immigration detention

Toronto — The United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights’ Working Groups on Arbitrary Detention has issued a damning opinion regarding Canadian immigration detention in the case of Mr Michael Mvogo. This is the first opinion the UN body has rendered in a case involving Canada since 1994 which is as far back as records are available for. The Opinion has great bearing on all immigration detentions cases in Canada. It responds to many of the Government’s arguments that justify immigration detention (of any length), and criticizes the judicial processes that uphold immigration detention. Media are invited to attend.

WHAT: Public delivery of UN opinion against Canadian immigration detention

WHEN: 10am, Thursday, July 24, 2014

WHERE: Immigration Enforcement offices, 74 Victoria Street, Toronto

WHO: End Immigration Detention Network and Mr Mvogo’s legal counsel

Over 80,000 people have been detained in immigration jails in Canada under the current government, over a third of them in maximum security provincial jails according to government documents.

Immigrant detainees are held without trial or charge, many indefinitely. Though the average length of stay in detention in 2013 was 28 days, nearly a 100 individuals have been held for over a year, and in one case, a man identified as anti-apartheid icon Mbuyisa Makhubu has been jailed for a decade. Mr Mvogo has been detained for nearly 8 years.

Immigrants in a maximum-security prison in Lindsay, Ontario where Mr Mvogo has been jailed have been on strike calling for an end to detention since September 2013. Their demands include an end to maximum security incarceration, an overhaul of the detention review process, and a 90-day limit on detention pending deportation. See a recent report by the End Immigration Detention Network at

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