The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) refused to extend a refugee seeker’s temporary resident permit, denied a permanent residency permit for humanitarian reason and refused the seeker’s pre-removal risk assessment.
An asylum seeker who arrived in Montreal in 2016 is scheduled to be deported to Guinea on Aug. 3, even though he says he fears for his life there due to his sexual orientation.The seeker claims to have fled his country three years ago when his family and the opposition political party learned about his bisexuality. He said he was living a double life – one in which he was hiding his true sexual identity.“What made me flee the country is the fact that I was hated by my family and my party,” said the seeker, who is unnamed for security purposes.“I gave up everything to save my life,” he said. “I left my little girl who was only three months old. It’s not like I left my country for nothing.”The seeker says that, if he is deported to Guinea, his life will be in danger.“I am someone who has no one to protect him,” the seeker told the Canadian Press. “When your family and friends hate you, who else can help? The only thing waiting for me there is death.”The seeker implores the Canadian government not to take the risk of sending him back to Guinea.His refugee status was denied in 2017. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) refused to extend his temporary resident permit, denied a permanent residency permit for humanitarian reason and refused the seeker’s pre-removal risk assessment.According to his lawyer Stewart Istvanffy, the seeker’s only hope involves the intervention of the federal court. A hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon.At a press conference on Sunday his lawyer accused the CBSA of sexual discrimination and said that the proof included in his client’s file had not been taken into account.“This person was never heard on his request, the proof was not taken into account and he has extremely strong community from the LGBTQ+ community in Quebec” he said.Several organizations that defend the rights of sexual minorities and immigrants were at the press conference, which was attended by the asylum seeker, his lawyer and Québec solidaire MNA Andrés Fontecilla.Istvanffy said that the “xenophobic bureaucracy” established when Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada were in power does not respect fundamental rights.Meryem Benslimane of the organization Action LGBTQ avec les immigrant(e)s et réfugié(e)s (AGIR) said that the opposition political party to which the asylum seeker belonged had disowned him, published his name in newspapers and made his sexual orientation public. As a result she said, there were demonstrations against him, he was tortured, and his wife was forced to go into hiding because she continued to support him.Benslimane and Christian Tanguay of the Centre LGBTQ+ de Montréal said there is a lack of training of CBSA agents so that they do not understand the reality of people from countries outside the western hemisphere who have a different sexual orientation. They are asked to prove that they are homosexuals or lesbians, said Benslimane. Some can, through photographs that depict their lives with a partner of the same sex but, for those who are not open about their personal lives, this burden of proof can be impossible.Related
With files from the Canadian Press