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17.06.2021 20:26 News >> Canada Holds Refugees In Abusive Conditions: Report

Canada Holds Refugees In Abusive Conditions: Report

Rights groups condemn Canadian immigration system.

Two human rights groups have condemned Canada's treatment of asylum seekers in a scathing report released Thursday that says thousands are held in jails, sometimes for years.
It is in direct contrast to the image Canada likes to project on the world stage, said the report, co-authored by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
"Canada's abusive immigration detention system is in stark contrast to the rich diversity and the values of equality and justice that Canada is known for globally," said Ketty Nivyabandi, head of Amnesty International Canada. "Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch call on the Canadian authorities to end the inhumane treatment of people in the immigration and refugee protection system by gradually ending immigration detention in Canada."
The 100-page report, 'I Didn't Feel Like a Human in There: Immigration Detention in Canada and Its Impact on Mental Health,' gives Canada a black eye, noting that those fleeing persecution while looking to Canada for protection are treated shabbily and abused.
They are regularly subjected to being handcuffed and held in jails mixed with regular criminal inmates or held in solitary confinement. The treatment has detrimental effects on mental health, the report found.
The report is based on interviews with 90 former immigration detainees and their relatives, as well as mental health experts, lawyers and government officials, among others.
Between April 2019 and March 2020, the human rights groups found that "Canada locked up 8,825 people between the ages of 15 and 83, including 1,932 in provincial jails." They said that since 2016, Canada has held 300 immigration detainees for longer than one year.
"Canada prides itself on welcoming refugees and newcomers with open arms, even though it's one of the few countries in the global north where people seeking safety risk being locked up indefinitely," said Samer Muscati, associate disability rights director at Human Rights Watch.
The Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) said on its website that there are good reasons why some are held in detention. They may have criminal convictions and pose a danger to the public, CTV News reported on Thursday.
There has not yet been a response from the Canadian government. -



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