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.

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