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posted by SandraCuffe in on Feb 7, 2013 - View profile

Vancouver

Remembrance and Justice for Hossein Blujani

Rally Demanding Justice in the Death of Kurdish-Iranian Refugee


9:30am
Tuesday February 12 2013

Venue: Federal Court
Address: 701 West Georgia St

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REMEMBRANCE AND JUSTICE FOR HOSSEIN BLUJANI:
Rally Demanding Justice in the Death of Kurdish-Iranian Refugee

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TUESDAY FEBRUARY 12TH
9:30 AM at FEDERAL COURT
701 WEST GEORGIA STREET
UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORIES
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With much sadness and rage, we inform our community that we have lost a vibrant, kind and thoughtful Kurdish and Iranian young refugee.

The body of 31-year-old Hossein Blujani was found on December 1, 2012 on the railway tracks near Commercial Drive and Broadway in an apparent suicide. We send our condolences to his surviving family and loved ones. We share in this pain with them so as to lighten their grief.

Hossein was a recognized UNHCR refugee (United Nations High Commission for Refugees) who claimed refugee status in Canada in 2010. The unjust and inhumane Canadian immigration system, however, relentlessly pursued allegations of him being a "security threat" and a member of a "terrorist" organization (an organization he was recruited into as a 15-year old and one which Canada itself has delisted). For years he endured long interrogations and hearings, while living without a work permit (until May 2012), no access to housing or social assistance, and no health care.

We join the call by the Iranian Federation of Refugees in demanding further investigation into Hossein's death including the many harassing phone calls and interrogations by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). CBSA and the Minister of Censorship and Deportation Jason Kenney are complicit in Hossein's death as they arbitrarily profile and label hundreds of refugees like Hossein as security threats and terrorists. This kind of fear-mongering and racist scapegoating has very real consequences in the lives of refugees and racialized communities: living with fear, constantly harassed and interrogated (despite not being charged), and every day marked with anxiety and insecurity.

Under Kenney's regime, an Eritrean refugee committed suicide from fear of a pending deportation, and a young woman was murdered upon her deportation to Mexico. There are many more unreported tragedies. Increasingly, the Tory government's response to refugees is to detain, interrogate, deport. Many refugees are facing mandatory incarceration, many more are unable to access basic healthcare, and a growing list of 'safe' countries denies a fair legal process to a number of refugees including women fleeing gender violence.

Please lend your support by attending the rally on Feb 12th outside Federal Court, where is lawyer will be appearing, and demand justice for Hossein Blujani, the Kurdish and Iranian community, and all his loved ones. No more deportations, no more deaths.

For more information, email noii-van@resist.ca or call 778 322 5349.

BACKGROUND:

Hossein left Iran at the age of 15. He was forcibly kept against his will in Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq and endured imprisonment torture and forced labour as well as solitary confinement for 6 months. During the American military occupation of Iraq in 2003, Hossein along with others was moved to the Temporary International Presence Facility (TIPF); essentially a prison facility operated by the American military. As documented by Iran Watch, Hossein was beaten by US military personnel in an incident where his hand was broken and he then was denied access to medical attention. Upon his release by the US military, he was determined to be a Convention refugee by the UNHCR in 2005.

In February 2010 Hossein claimed refugee status in Canada. Despite being a UN Convention Refugee, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) continually interrogated him and made him relive the horrors of his life by retelling his story over and over again. He was forced through a security inadmissibility hearing to determine if he was a 'security' threat. When he was found to be admissible by the Immigration Division, Kenney's office appealed this decision. At the Immigration Appeal Division, the judge acknowledged that Hossein was of no concern to the law but that national security concerns require a "broad" interpretation of the law and that duress and coercion including for youth are not relevant factors. (see below for the overly broad and vague definition for security inadmissibility under s.34 of the ironically titled Immigration and Refugee Protection Act).

Hossein appealed this decision and this decision was to be revisited again at a federal court hearing set for February 12th, 2013.

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act s. 34:

34. (1) A permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on
security grounds for
(a) engaging in an act of espionage or an act of subversion against a democratic government, institution or process as they are understood in Canada;
(b) engaging in or instigating the subversion by force of any government
(c) engaging in terrorism;
(d) being a danger to the security of Canada;
(e) engaging in acts of violence that would or might endanger the lives or safety of persons in Canada; or
(f) being a member of an organization that there are reasonable grounds to believe engages, has engaged or will engage in acts referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

Organizer:noii-van@resist.ca / 778 322 5349

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