“Immigration detention cholbey na! cholbey na!”* (immigration detention will not be tolerated!)
Report on day of action Free the three, Freedom for migrants, End detentions!
The numbers are shocking: since 2004, at least 95,000 immigrants have experienced detention; the longest held – under the notorious ‘security certificate ‘ regime – for more than 12 years. The figures are set to climb as new legislation gives the immigration minister the power to mark certain migrants arriving in Canada for mandatory detention. Yet it is not cold numbers but the impact on our communities and on people we love – the humiliation, re-traumatization, feeling of powerlessness, bewilderment, fear, family separation, the lives put on hold – that motivates us to put an end to this system of injustice.
In response to a call to action by the Justice for Mahjoub Network in Toronto, people mobilized in several cities across Canada around 10 December – international human rights day and the 10th anniversary of Mohamed Harkat ‘s arrest under an immigration ‘security certificate ‘ – to call for an end to immigration detentions.
AUDIO-SLIDESHOW ON THE DAYS OF ACTION: www.supportmahjoub.org/not-be-tolerated/
Over 50 people rallied in front of the Toronto Immigration Holding Centre (TIHC) on December 9th, expressing their solidarity with the three remaining security certificate detainees and all others locked up in immigration detention. Moving speeches were given by Mohammad Mahjoub, Ali Jaballah (Mahmoud Jaballah’s son), and Arjan Tabaj, who spoke of his experience detained at the TIHC as a refugee. Despite being cordoned off by police and private security, the rally made itself heard; rally-goers and detainees waved and shouted to each other across the barbed wire and walls.
Full report: www.supportmahjoub.org/toronto.
In Ottawa, the Committee for Justice for Mohamed Harkat held a long-planned press conference on 10 December in Parliament, supported by MPs and spokespeople for NGOs such as Amnesty International. Mohamed ‘s 13-year old niece gave a heartfelt account of the impact her uncle ‘s detention has had on her entire family. Outside Parliament, supporters joined Mohamed to demand an end to the security certificate regime.
A week later, a convoy of fifteen cars set forth along busy Montreal streets, calling slogans all the way. The caravan made stops in the primarily immigrant neighborhoods of Petit Maghreb and Montreal-Nord, where participants passed out pamphlets. It finally found its way to the Laval Immigration Holding Center. Banners were tied to the chain-linked fences andspeeches soared over prison walls. Adil Charkaoui, who won against a security certificate after six years of detention, was among those who delivered messages of support to people locked inside.
Full report: www.supportmahjoub.org/montreal.
Speech by Farah Najah Hussain for SAWCC: www.supportmahjoub.org/speechlessness/.
Despite the icy weather, the Making Peace Vigil in Regina and Anti-Racist Action – Calgary held info-pickets, handing out flyers and asking passers-by to read and inform themselves and people around them about security certificates and immigration detention more generally.
In Vancouver, security certificate detentions were one of the focuses of an international human rights day candle-light vigil organized by Siraat.
People in Saskatoon gathered for a letter-writing event; read full story: www.supportmahjoub.org/saskatoon/.
Free the three! Libertad para los migrantes! Halte aux detentions!
VIDEO ON IMMIGRATION DETENTION: https://vimeo.com/55622758
SOME MEDIA COVERAGE
http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1 (at around 9 minute mark)
On immigration detention generally:
(includes a flyer you can print and distribute)
On security certificates specifically: