Lawyer hopes to halt deportation of Iranian man

Posted by admin on Sep 4th, 2008

John Colebourn. The Province. Thursday, September 04, 2008

The lawyer for a man who faces deportation this weekend is making a desperate bid to allow him to argue his case before a judge. Hamid Shemshad, 38, was taken into custody two weeks ago. If Shemshad is returned to Iran, he could face extreme consequences and even death for his political activities in his homeland and abroad, his Vancouver lawyer, Peter Edelmann, said yesterday.

“He’s been very involved in political organizations critical of the Iranian regime,” said Edelmann. “He’s definitely at risk of imprisonment or possibly death if returned.”

Since landing in Canada in 2001, Shemshad has worked in the Vancouver area as a painting contractor, said Edelmann.

He said Shemshad has not been involved in criminal activity.

Edelmann said Shemshad had a refugee hearing in 2003 and a pre-removal risk-assessment hearing in 2005, at which time it was argued that he would be in danger if he were to be sent back to Iran.

Edelmann said Shemshad’s brother was executed in 1988 in Iran for the family’s political activity, and during the hearing it was argued he faced the same risk.

“A number of aspects of his claim were not believed,” said Edelmann.

“But now he has further evidence that confirm the various aspects of his claim.”

Edelmann hopes to ask a judge today or tomorrow for an interim order delaying the deportation until the findings of the panel in 2005 can be reviewed in federal court.

“What essentially we’d like is to get him properly assessed,” he said.

Tammy Sadeghi, president of the International Federation of Iranian Refugees said Shemshad, who is single, has been a model citizen.

“He’s been working hard and paying taxes,” Sadeghi said.

“He’s scared of his safety if he goes back to Iran.”

Immigration Canada could not be reached for comment.

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