Continued pressure to bring Mohamed Cherfi home

Posted by admin on Mar 14th, 2004



March 9 was declared a national day of action to bring Mohamed home and demonstrations were organized in six major cities. There is increasing support by unions, community groups, political parties, church groups and prominent individuals to demand the return of Mohamed Cherfi. To date, the Parti Quebecois, Bloc Quebecois, NDP, Amnesty International- Quebec Chapter, Council of Canadian Churches, and individuals such as Naomi Klein have vocalized support for Mohamed.

Mohamed Cherfi had been in sanctuary at Saint-Pierre United Church since February 10 in order to avoid deportation to Algeria where he fears for his life. His arrest breaks a longstanding secular tradition of right to sanctuary, the first time such an outrage has occurred in Canada.

“The United Church, on whose ground Mohamed Cherfi had taken refuge, considers it a moral duty to offer asylum to any person whose life is endanger if the State does not fulfil its responsibilities,” said Rev Gerald Dore. The event is all the more significant considering that only a political decision could have prompted such an intervention.

Without any sort of due process, Mohamed was deported to the United States where he now sits in a prison cell. Mohamed was an outspoken member of the Action Committee of Non-Status Algerians, and their spokesperson. Due in large part to the tireless work of Mohamed, hundreds of non-status Algerians were regularized in Quebec as immigrants. However, Mohamed was himself refused as an immigrant to Quebec on the pretext that he was not adequately “integrated”. Mohamed is a fluent speaker of French and trained as a French teacher

We demand the return of Mohammed Cherfi to his home and to denounce the actions of the Quebec City police, Quebec Immigration Minister Michele Courchesne, federal Immigration Minister Judy Sgro and federal Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan (responsible for the Border Services Agency), for their role in violating the sanctuary of the Saint-Pierre United Church in Quebec City, and in summarily deporting Mohamed Cherfi to the United States. These officials have the power and the duty to intervene.

Recent press coverage can be found in the Montreal Gazzette, Globe and Mail and CBC National.

A Solidarity Committee for Mohamed is active in Quebec City. They can be reached at 418-262-0144 or They also maintain a website in French at

Comments are closed.