Hunger striking refugee detained for SIX years

Posted by admin on Dec 8th, 2011

Support at Detention Hearing. Thursday, December 15th at 11:00 am. Immigration and Refugee Board Offices, 300 West Georgia Street

Nader is a 46 year old Iranian refugee who has been detained and imprisoned by Canadian Border Services Agency since 2005. Nader has spent over six years behind bars, without any substantive charges, under the jurisdiction of the Immigration Act.

His length of detention is unprecedented in Canada.

Nader has now been on a six-week hunger strike and will be appearing yet again for a detention review on Thursday December 15th at 11 am at Immigration and Refugee Board offices (300 West Georgia). He is calling on the public and allies in the anti-detention movement to bear witness to this arbitrary, inhumane, and indefinite detention hearing. No One Is Illegal attended his last hearing and he said that it was a huge boost in morale for him. (We ask supporters to please keep in mind about bearing witness and to be cautious of how our conduct will reflect/impact on him.)

Nader arrived to Canada from Iran with his wife and young son in 1997 as political refugees. At the time they made a claim based on her persecution in Iran as a dissident. The family’s claim was initially rejected by the Immigration and Refugee Board in 2000 and shortly after Nader and his wife separated. His (now ex) wife and son subsequently were granted legal status but Nader was ordered removed from Canada.

The unjust and cruel rationale provided for his ongoing detention by the Immigration and Refugee Board is simply the fact that he refuses to sign documents for his own deportation to Iran. Canadian Border Services have argued for ongoing (essentially infinite) detention because Nader is deemed to be “non cooperative in signing documents”. They want him to sign a document which states he is returning ‘voluntarily’, absolving Canada of its complicity in his involuntary removal and using detention to pressure him to lie about his own deportation!

For six years Nader has been incarcerated at Fraser Regional Correctional Centre, a maximum security provincial facility. This facility is mandated for short-term offenders whose sentence does not exceed two years. Short term facilities such as FRCC lack the infrastructure and resources to house and accommodate long-term inmates. Nader has reported that he has been subjected to a poor diet and lack of quality health care at FRCC. Without internet and law library materials (which are available at other federal facilities), he has been unable to defend and advocate for himself.

Nader continues to face risk in Iran – a similar risk to what his (now ex) wife and son were granted asylum for in Canada. Nader has never even had a refugee claim heard on the basis of his own experience in Iran and fear of persecution if deported back to Iran. Nader has recently filed a Pre Removal Risk Assessment and will be pursuing other legal avenues given the trauma he has suffered in Iran and now in Canada.

According to Nader, “The length of my detention has not been predicated on any evidence that I am a ‘threat to national security’ or that my release poses any ‘risk to the public safety’. Yet I have endured the psychological trauma of confinement and the emotional suffering and anxiety of being separated from my son (who has since been granted asylum in Canada).”

There will be ongoing support for Nader, we invite you to please come out on Thursday December 15th and say no to detentions and deportations!

For more information please email or call 778 552 2099.

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