Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stop the deportation of Mr. Subas B.K. to torture in Nepal

Not one month after the United Nations Committee Against Torture called on Canada to bring its Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) in line with international law and to respect the absolute prohibition on deportations where there is a substantial risk or torture or worse, Canada is prepared to deport a man named Subas B.K. on Monday, June 20 to Nepal, where he faces the risk of grave human rights violations. WE NEED FOLKS CONCERNED ABOUT STOPPING A DEPORTATION TO TORTURE TO IMMEDIATELY CONTACT THE MINISTER OF PUBLIC SAFETY AND EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS, ANNE MCLELLAN, AND IMMIGRATION MINISTER JOE VOLPE AT THE NUMBERS BELOW, WITH A QUICK NOTE DEMANDING THAT THEY STOP THE DEPORTATION AND CONDUCT A NEW RISK ASSESSMENT THAT ACCURATELY REFLECTS THE DANGEROUS POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT IN NEPAL Please cc to let us know you have written or called.

Background: Mr. Subas B.K. came to Canada and claimed refugee status in 2000 based on his membership in the lower caste "dalits" and for being a human rights activist opposed both to the activities of the ruling Nepalese Congress Party and the armed Maoist insurgents who operate throughout the country. Mr. B.K. reported that he had been subject to death threats, arbitrary arrest and detention, and torture while in Nepal, and that he has been named an enemy both by the government and the Maoists. Unfortunately, the Canadian government denied his refugee claim (and there is no appeal of that decision). His pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) was, not surprisingly, negative as well (approvals are granted in approximately1.5% of applications made). Since the time of his last risk assessment in December, 2003, the political situation in Nepal has deteriorated rapidly, and members of Mr. B.K.'s immediate family have been kidnapped, disappeared and forced into hiding. Should he be returned to Nepal now, he is likely to suffer a severe human rights violation in the form of arrest, torture or death. Amnesty International has expressed "alarm" at the news of the deportation order, and declared that "given the overall deterioration of the security situation in recent months [in Nepal], Amnesty International urges governments to refrain from forcibly returning any persons to Nepal as they might be exposed to risks of grave human rights violations committed by the state and/or by non-state agents of persecution, without being able to access effective and durable state protection." Human Rights Watch issued a report in April, 2005 which reminded Canada that "International law is clear. Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited absolutely, in all situations and at all times, as is the transfer of any person under any circumstances to a place where he or she would be at risk of such abuse." United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Canadian Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour spoke in Toronto this week at the Canadian Club. The Toronto Star reports, "In her speech to the Canadian Club, Arbour warned about allowing an irrational fear of terrorism to undermine basic human rights and, in the worst cases, lead to arbitrary detentions and torture... Arbour also said the most pressing need for international intervention to curb gross human-rights abuses may now be in Nepal."

Stop the Deportation of Subas B.K. Please contact ANNE MCLELLAN AND JOE VOLPE immediately and let us know what kind of response you have gotten! Thank you!

Matthew Behrens
Toronto Action for Social Change

Anne McLellan
Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
(also in charge of the Canadian Border Services Agency)
House of Commons, 306Justice Building, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
(613) 992-4524
Fax: (613) 943-0044

Joe Volpe
Immigration Minister
Rm 658, Confederation Bldg
House ofCommons, Ottawa ON K1A 0A6
(613) 992-6361
Fax: (613) 992-9791

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