In October 2011, Muhammed filed an application for protection in Canada which was accepted and then rejected shortly thereafter to be protected temporarily from his home Country of The Gambia, while the current President is in power.
Gambian citizens have been suffering from 19 years of murderous, corrupt, evil dictatorship by Yahya Jammeh. There are numerous organizations including Amnesty International and Coalition for Change working tirelessly to help the Gambian people stand up and not live under fear. Muhammed has been another strong voice against the regime as he is a natural speaker and leader. To be a criminal now in Gambia, all you need to do is post a caricature of the President online, and that will land you a 15 year prison sentence (in one of the worst prison’s imaginable) and a $85,000 CDN fine, amongst many other insane laws which are enforced by Jammeh’s men with AK47’s. It doesn’t take much research to start to see the monopoly Jammeh has over the Country, people, media, etc. If you live in Gambia, it’s your life or keep quiet. Or, the journalists, websites, media which expose his regime have been killed, taken down and stopped from Gambians seeing the atrocities.
Muhammed has an online group called “Gambian Green Party” (formerly “Concerned Citizens”) where he outlines his projected improvements to government and ideas for sustainable development for the country. He also explains quite clearly how the current government is failing Gambians through various groups, news stations and websites. He has posted his discontent with the illegal, horrendous crimes of the Gambian government in a group called WA Banjul Open (WA= People of), he has also been very active in conversation and debate within the HelloGambia.com newscast, in opposition to the government. A site that is closely watched by Jammeh and operates out of the U.S. If your political opinion is not that of Jammeh’s, it is proven you will be arrested and who knows what at the hands of these tyrants. History has proven to be detention without trial, torture, execution, etc.
Muhammed is a law abiding resident. He has complied 100% with any appointments/requirements put on him on a weekly/monthly basis, which was to also attend a meeting with CBSA on May 29th, 2013 with his wife. In the meeting the officer explained a program to give Muhammed $2,000 to blend back into the Gambian society, and Muhammed refused because his life is not equivalent to any compensation from the Canadian government. The officer asked Muhammed and his wife to “wait a minute” while the officer “went to get the form for Muhammed to sign to pull out of the program”, when she returned, she asked Muhammed and his wife to meet her in room 7, where two CBSA officers closed the door behind them and asked Muhammed to face the wall while they frisked him, then to put his hands behind his back, and at that point arrested him. The reason given for his arrest, detainment at the holding centre, and scheduled removal to Gambia was because his status has “run out”.
Therefore multiple protests were organized, petition opened, and an emergency stop motion was submitted to stop Muhammed’s removal. After a two hour hearing via phone from the holding centre with the Federal Court on his day of removal, the Federal Court ruled that the “balance of convenience lies in the favour of Muhammed and that he has a genuine fear for his life and safety” so they stopped his deportation to re-file for protection, although he was already taken to the airport and waiting to be forced to board!
He is still in detention and has been reprimanded by numerous CBSA and security officers to stop the protests, stop petitioning and stop “bringing attention to CBSA”. His wife has been banned from visiting him because of the campaign, and the unnecessary detention is still being enforced!
We are demanding his release to stop this continued oppression, to stop the power hungry officers and their racial slurs as retribution for exposing their behaviour, to raise awareness on the treatment of detainees in Canada, to shed light on what an injustice this has been for Muhammed since the beginning and to make known what is happening in The Gambia so that one day, he can return to his beloved home soil with his wife.
Muhammed has asked for the ability to claim for protection elsewhere and/or be returned to Senegal where he can be protected without a Visa. His passport was seized when he filed for protection and the only way to get it back is protection in Canada, or flight to Gambia.
“I would like every Canadian to look at what fairness is — I would like every Canadian to represent what their country really stands for, which is to protect and be in association with the rights and freedoms of every human being around the world. I would like every Canadian to take my case as an example and look into giving anyone who is in a situation like mine the chance to come to Canada to be helped.” – Muhammed Sillah
Sign the petition: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/free-gambian-freedom-fighter-from-canadian-immigration-detention
- Like Justice for Muhammed Sillah via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeForMuhammed/
- Follow the #JusticeforSillah hashtag via Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=%23JusticeforSillah&src=hash
Check out the #Gambia – #JusticeforSillah video playlist via YouTube!
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