Act Now: Tell Ontario to #EndDetentions

160614_EIDN_MentalHealth_Rev-01.pngA growing chorus of voices are calling on Ontario to stop imprisoning migrants without charges or trial. The tide is turning, and a new Minister has been assigned to the issue. If we act now, we can end this unjust practice. 

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146 doctors, nurses and social workers and 109 lawyers called on Ontario to end the province’s deal with Ottawa that allows the jailing of immigration detainees in provincial prisons earlier this month.

Today 85 immigration detainees at Lindsay’s Central East Correctional Centre (CECC) are adding to the chorus, re-asserting their long standing demand to end their maximum security imprisonment in provincial jails without charges or trial. Help to amplify their message by calling, emailing and tweeting today, scroll below to see how. One-third of all immigration detainees in Canada are held in provincial jails, even though immigration is a federal matter.  

“Everyone has mental health problems. Once a month a psychiatrist comes to talk to you, and they only give you a sleeping pill. This is not helping my mental health, it’s making me sleep, that’s it. We don’t want to sleep, we want to be healthy. We are refugees being treated like bad people and nothing ever changes. Immigration detention needs to stop now.” – Ebrahim Toure, forty-five, from Guinea who has been detained for three years and seven months at CECC without cause. 

Eight of the fifteen migrants who have died in immigration detention since 2000 were locked up in Ontario’s provincial prisons. Two of them, Francisco Astorga and Melkioro Gahungu, died in one week in March of this year. If Ontario can’t keep them alive, it has no business jailing them. Momentum is growing and we can act together and end this injustice.

CALL / TWEET / EMAIL Minister David Orazietti TODAY!
Ask him to end immigration detention in Ontario prisons.
416-212-2665 / @DavidOrazietti /
If you haven’t yet, please sign this petition in support of all the detainee demands.

If you are in Toronto, come out to this amazing spoken word event on June 26th!

“I hope that this call is the last call needed to finally put an end to detentions. I have schizophrenia and am bipolar and am living proof that maximum security holds causes further mental health detriment. Since I’ve been detained by CBSA with the lock downs in Lindsay I’ve had mental health problems I’ve been seeing stuff, hearing stuff, and I’m going through a depression because of the uncertainty of not knowing when I’m gonna get out.” A.B., forty, who has been in Canada since 1992 and been in detention since August 2015.

‘Immigration detention is bad for your health, and incarceration in jail even more so. The mental health impacts of detention are well known. After only a month, symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression in refugees were significantly elevated compared to non-detained asylum seekers.’ – Dr. Rachel Kronick and Dr. Michaela Beder in the Toronto Star.

For more information on doctors and lawyers calling for justice, visit

For more information on immigration detainees organizing since a historic hunger strike by detainees in prison in September 2013, visit


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