September 29th, 2013

Today marks four months of Muhammed’s detainment. 1/3 of a year. He was last home when spring just started. The last time I hugged and kissed him after I saw government men arrest him without even reading him his rights.

Until someone has lost their freedom, there is no understanding as to what it’s like, and in that, a purposeless detainment due to some emotional IRB and CBSA members who do not believe in the Canadian Constitution and the Charter of Human Rights and Freedom. They believe they are above the law and exercise that in their behaviour and decisions.

If we were working in the context of law, Muhammed would be free. Until then, Muhammed and I will stand for what is right, for truth in his case and need for temporary protection, for other immigrants and refugees in Canada who are being denied their rights and have become victim of insensible, inefficient reforms, and for the freedom of Gambians from oppression. In these stands there are sacrifices, and each and every human being has a duty to do the same: to do what is right, not just what is right for themselves.

~Sarah~

Immigration detainees vow to continue hunger strike

“Immigration detainees recently shuffled from Toronto to a Lindsay facility have vowed to continue a hunger strike until detention conditions improve.

The 191 inmates, held in Toronto West Detention Centre before their transfer to Lindsay in August, staged a protest and held a brief hunger strike last Tuesday, claiming poor treatment at the new facility, located almost two hours from Toronto.

About 150 detainees resumed a hunger strike Monday, consuming only water and juices, said inmate Eric Kusi. At least four inmates have fallen sick due to low blood sugar and blood pressure, he said.”

Full article here: http://www.thestar.com/news/immigration/2013/09/25/immigration_detainees_vow_to_continue_hunger_strike.html

Visitors and Tourists to Canada

By Muhammed Sillah 9.24.2013

As Canadians leave for other countries around the world to seek leisure, discover other wonders, history and attractions of other countries many other nationalities seek the same by pursuing legitimate travel documents and Canadian visa’s but are denied entry to Canada once arriving. Tourists from around the world especially Eastern Europe, China, Africans, and Southern Americans are denied entry into Canada, specifically Toronto. These tourists have enough funding for their visit including pocket money and hotel reservation, but they are either accused of attempting to secure jobs in Canada or deemed strangers who do not know anyone in Canada.

Naturalized citizens of westernized countries whose background are of African descent are deemed not to be Europeans and are confiscated by CBSA and ensured their nationality and deported. Tourists obtain legitimate visa’s from Canadian embassies in their countries for visitation purposes and make payments for their tickets mounting to hundreds of dollars but upon arrival at the Canadian port of entry, they are arrested, detained indefinitely or deported. Many tourists to Canada have been arrested and detained for intending to discover Canada’s attractions however Canadians going to other countries are treated with respect, dignity and are provided with their demands adequately. CBSA is rejecting visitors illegally under the Vienna convention and their rights are stripped from them as visitors and false allegations to hold them accountable. The majority of these tourists are business owners, and could not afford to leave their already successful businesses to leave or work in Canada thereby abandoning their families just to live in Canada.

Canada, under the leadership of the CBSA is crafting a heinous image for Canada that is deteriorating the image outsiders see Canada to be. The CBSA are not exercising or reflecting these norms of Canadians, therefore Canada’s losing their outermost beauty and tolerance to the rampant behavior of CBSA officials. Many tourists and immigrants who are deported are beginning to have bad blood for Canada and are expecting to equally treat Canadians should they visit their countries in search for pleasure or discovery of attractions. Canada is globally known for their respect for human rights, equality and welcoming visitors and immigrants but are gradually losing this image and tolerance to CBSA who are being motivated by reformers who are reflecting their own need and greed for votes. Slamming doors on outsiders would only encourage outsiders to either close their doors on Canadians or treat them with injustice or abusive behavior. CBSA should not sacrifice Canadian visitation rights by being rampant and establishing false allegations on visitors to Canada who would leave but also encourage their countrymen to take similar actions based on their experience. If Canada does not need immigrants who have positively raised their economy in various aspects, and are in rejection of visitors and tourists, they must stop issuing such visa’s and make known to other governments and their people about their change in travelling requirements to Canada. People from different parts of the world are losing time and money in an attempt to visit Canada therefore standards in prevention of such laws may be announced and allegations must be put to rest.

Almost all Canadians except the aboriginal at one point immigrated to Canada or their ancestors did, therefore, the creed to keep those immigrants, refugees and tourists from coming into Canada is based on purely selfish grounds and hypocrisy. No one is illegal.

What is Immigration Detention? What Does It Cost?

Some of the prisoners are long-term detainees, people immigration enforcement cannot deport but will not release. Others have been designated as ‘high security’ based on prior criminal history but this can be as little as an arrest that has not led to conviction. Some people have been in jail for over 7 years because Canada unlike the US and UK has no limit on how long someone can be held prior to deportation.

Background

About Superintendent Neil Neville: Neville was in charge of Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in 2009, when two inmates died. He left EMDC in May 2011, and took on several roles within the provincial bureaucracy before taking over in Lindsay. Inquests held into the 2009 deaths painted a picture of an overcrowded, understaffed EMDC with inadequate medical care and supervision of inmates.

About Immigration Detention in Canada: Between 2004 and 2011, 82,000 people were locked up in immigration detention. At least another 25,000 have been imprisoned since 2011. In 2012, 289 of the detainees were children, many of them under the age of 10. There are three dedicated immigration detention centres in Canada: in Toronto, in Laval and in Vancouver. The Kingston centre, specially built for the security certificate detainees, known as “Guantanamo North”, was quietly closed in 2011. The rest of the detainees, about 35% of the total are held in maximum security provincial prisons, some unable to leave their cells for 18 hours a day. $53, 775, 000 in public money is spent on immigration detention annually or $239 per day. Comparatively, a unit of social housing can be provided at less than $31/day. The total cost of immigration detention including surveillance and supervision of immigrants, particularly of security certificate detainees and those not in detention is much higher. Immigration detention centres are a $50million business, run in partnership with private companies like G4S, Garda and Corbel Management Corporation. In Toronto alone, G4S and Corbel were paid $19 million between 2004 and 2008. Garda has the contract for the Laval Immigration Holding Centre.

More info: http://vimeo.com/55622758

Freedom to Move, Return, Stay: In the last ten years, the number of people without full status (refugee claimants, temporary workers, etc) has increased by 60% but permanent residency visas have stayed constant. Refugee acceptance rates are less then 25%. Too many migrants are denied full status, and are forced to live in the country without papers, services, justice or dignity. Migrants without full status live in daily fear of detention and deportation. Those arrested are locked up in cages in brutish conditions awaiting forced deportations. This system is broken. We insist: No One Is Illegal! End Immigration Detentions! Freedom for All Prisoners!

200 Detainees on Hunger Strike in Lindsay, Ontario

Please show your support and solidarity and be a part of something that needs put into a microscope and scrutinized. The treatment of detainees in detention in Canada. There are currently 200 detainees on hunger strike opposing their treatment and move to a new facility.

Please sign the petition and call the number provided to express your discontent. If this is happening in Ontario, which it is, we have some serious problems.
Image

Link to Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/570955859630708/571117942947833/?notif_t=like

Petition: https://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/neil-neville-meet-the-demands-of-striking-immigrant-detainees

Fatou Camara Arrested and Detained in The Gambia.

“Fatou Camara has been arrested last Monday and released, only to be rearrested two hours later. She has since been held incommunicado at the filthy cells of the NIA.

According to intelligence sources, the main reason for her arrest and continued detention is due to her recent contract with Youssou N’dour’s TFM, a Senegal-based television station that often reports critical stories about Gambia’s despot dictator Yahya Jammeh.”
Image

Read full article here: http://hellogambia.com/gambia-nia-investigates-fatou-camara-for-espionage-breach-of-national-security/

Why I’m Still Detained by Muhammed Sillah, September 14th, 2013

As a political activist and freedom fighter for the vulnerable, and especially third world country citizens, western foreign policy is one of my topmost interests, in the fight for equality, justice and the balance of rights mankind. However, Canada has always been an exemption for me and I have always respected that tolerance and accommodation of diverse nationalities in Canada and their participation for the fight to protect the rights of others worldwide especially women, children and the right to religion. I have always believed that Canada will stick to their usual exercise of the full arm of their law and conventions they partake in but to my surprise, rumors of deteriorating implementation of their law is affecting me personally when I need Canada the most.

January the 3rd of this year slightly made me think of Canada to be the Canada I knew all along in accepting and granting me protection as a convention refugee in protecting me from the tyrant of my country, Gambia. To my shocking surprise, on the 9th of January, the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) amended the decision out of their mandate and against laws of Canada, rejecting my claim for protection. The reason this unlawful action still remains a mystery and is unable to provide for me any reason to their unlawful decision, this amended decision has encouraged CBSA to arrest and work vigorously to remove me from Canada within 11 days of my initial arrest in May. Is this a Jason Kenney ideology? Luring Canada into losing their grip on reality? Or is this just personal? However on the 29th of May, CBSA clearly erred by law in arresting me in the presence of my wife, Sarah, without reading my rights as required by the Vienna and human rights convention. CBSA further erred in law by not taking into consideration that I am a protected person and also failing to note that IRB was not reasonable with their amended decision. Upon my arrest I noted that if Canada refuses to protect me, they must hand me back my passport which they have now seized for over two years without a reason and allow me to leave and seek for refuge anywhere I desire. I was then lured into accepting a $2,000 offer of help to assist myself with for when I return, but my rejection of such offer angered CBSA as many rush to accept such offer.

Since the 29th of May to the 11th of June, when my removal was scheduled, CBSA received a submission by my wife to defer my removal and also a chance for them to comprehensively analyze my immigration matter but they refused (very quickly, without a proper analyzing, and with immense errors in facts). Petitions and protests were organized by people who believe in the credibility of my case including my wife who also submitted an emergency stop motion to the Federal Court to stop my removal. The FC decided over my case from a lengthy phone hearing with just me, which was scheduled 5 hours before my removal from Canada on the 11th of June.  After my hearing and since the court must take at least an hour to decide, I was transported by CBSA to the airport that were so eager to remove me as a result of petitions and protests that exposed their unlawful duty in my case. At the airport waiting for my flight, a call from the Federal Court came through to my removal officers, to stop them from removing me from Canada because they needed a review of my case, which they think is strong enough to stay a removal in process. A CBSA officer verbally noted how he hated the actions of the court in depriving them from removing me and they also mentioned losing $1,500 in ticket money in failing to fly me home to Gambia. CBSA officers had no choice but to take me back to the jail/detention centre in wait of the Federal Court decision and they try to convince me in advising my wife to “stop all petitions and protests that is creating enough attention me, my case and the CBSA” which I ignored because it was quite pathetic of them. They clearly stated that my wife is “denied visitations to me in regards to the protests” which is definitely a right of hers to exercise.

Since June 11th, when my removal was stopped, CBSA compiled and forwarded many false accusations about me including the usage of a New York driver’s license and travelling to the US illegally without any proof, as well as conveniently leaving out my request to go to another Country outside of Gambia to seek protection. The response to my wife after I was arrested was “he cannot just bounce around looking for protection” like I had ever sought protection anywhere else??? As the Federal Court has yet to render a decision on my immigration matter, CBSA cannot be more active in ensuring my further unlawful detention and are keeping me in unprecedented situations in detention. No adequate health care attention, poor meals and angry guards who help to further disgust, frustrate and depress detainees.

My wife has met all requirements to place a bond to ensure my release plus my landlord but they were all denied for reasons not stipulated in the detention guidelines. CBSA has a tremendous convincing power over the IRB to refrain anyone from being released which is well known in this facility. They have no reason to keep me in detention as it will be lengthy but during my detention reviews in court, CBSA representatives keep fabricating accusations against me and my wife just to deny me release. The Federal Court is taking time to rule over my case and I am hopeful that they would rule in my favour but it will definitely shatter the hopes and dreams of CBSA who pray for my removal daily.

My freedom is stripped away by the negligence and ultra vires of the IRB actions and CBSA. I’m locked up for seeking protection and my rights and freedom is deprived by the selfish representatives of Canadian law. Almost 4 months has been stripped away from my life for no adequate and reliable explanation by CBSA and IRB, and my right for visitation also stripped from me. This is defiantly not the Canada Canadians brag about, are proud of or what outsiders think of Canada. For shame on CBSA for deteriorating Canadian beliefs and norms and specifically that of the international community.

A Gambian’s Political Involvement

by Muhammed Sillah, Sept 2013

Gambian need “new blood” for a political correctness which would reflect the ancient and present day beliefs, norms, and dreams of Gambians collectively.  The exclusion of Gambians in the political arena by aggressive reformers and so called revolutionaries, who by lethal force implement their primitive policies and selfish need for leadership, is deviating Gambians from gaining any political interest or achieving their dreams as citizens.
The cornerstone of the collective national development with the unity of all Gambians dynamically, is to pave way for a more participatory approach towards politics, which is the undeniable response to all citizen concerns. The fight for overall freedom, liberty and equality among us should not be in the nature of aggression or strife. It should be in dialogue and constant awareness of government policies, as well as its toll on our national development and state of living. The awareness of government procedures at all times fends for all citizens the need to reassure themselves of their expectations and the leadership in such government. Working towards national development is significant for our livelihood today, and for the future citizens of this country. If we don’t make ourselves a better state of living to enjoy, we must not be selfish in creating a foundation of prosperity for the future leaders and citizens.
The Gambian leader has adopted many critics within his political counterparts who are in disapproval in the nature of leadership regarding his disregard for many freedoms and privileges denied by many Gambians. This is a growing havoc for all citizens should we be in continual silence as if we are in acceptance of such actions.
It is a requirement for all Gambians to unite under an umbrella of transparency, justice and freedom to hold Jammeh accountable for his primitive leadership.
Going forward as a nation cannot be in the absence of the majority of our national elites and elders who are being fearful for their lives in positive contribution for a more sustainable way of life for all. Being fearful for our lives for participating in the politics of our country should raise the question “why not?”. If our noble opinions are rejected or threatened we require a new government or leadership with whom we can trust and relate to should we become concerned about matters of government.
Should we be betrayed by a government who does not bring forth her promises we are required to be concerned enough to question and ensure she is reminded in order to stay on course for what is expected of her or be replaced either by votes during elections or impeachment. The impeachment of a leader must be recognized by all citizens or at least the majority should the government deviate from her course or further put us in harm’s way or reject our opinions.
The breakage of silence in the political lives of Gambians is a must. Should we risk suffering imprisonment or death by our own elected government, then we must render such government illegitimate, and face the risk come what may once and for all. We must be very concerned about our political involvement for it rules with or without our approval. If we do not stand to protect our rights together with others we might pay a bigger price in retention of these rights sooner or later. The rights of every Gambian must be treated as everyone else’s rights. Should we fail to protect on another, we all would fail or be heard by a system of government we can never find a cure for. A gradual disrespect and abuse of our rights might become chronic in the actions of our government should we neglect to keep them honest or not become attentive to victims of such pathetic governing body. We must unite in perspective of what we wish for our Country, and protect it as if it belongs to us individually. We must not be lame in giving into others who would lead us in a way that our norms and beliefs are disapproved of.
As Gambians we must take responsibility in how we are treated under the arms of the government, and be responsive to any action subdued on us either positive or negative. Never should we overhear concerns of other Gambians to be of little or no importance and should we tend to be suspicious of anything, we must demand scrutinizing of such government actions. Holding our government responsible is for our general benefit and forward movement as a people without fear or favour.