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NONE IS TOO MANY: Canada is failing to protect refugees

Jul/16/2009 - 11:30 am


NONE IS TOO MANY: Canada is failing to protect refugees

Toronto - July 16, 2009: Concerned community groups will hold a Press Conference on Thursday July 16, 2009 at 11:30 a.m. at Roma Community Centre at CultureLink, 2340 Dundas West (Crossways Mall), Suite 301, Toronto (follow Culturelink sign on main floor, go to 3rd Floor)

Community groups are deeply concerned about Canada’s recent decision to impose a visa on those countries, effectively shutting the door on Czech Roma and Mexican refugee who seek protection in Canada.

“Immigration Minister Jason Kenny appears to think that Roma don’t face state-sanctioned persecution in the Czech Republic” said Roma Community Centre Vice President Bill Bila. “Yet Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have stated publicly that the Czech Republic has failed to protect Roma from discrimination and abuse at the hands of public officials and private individuals” he said.

“The Canadian government is failing to protect refugees” said Francisco Rico-Martinez, Co-Director of FCJ Refugee Centre. This government has failed to implement the Refugee Appeal Division, and is now considering cracking down even further on refugees, he pointed out.

The Roma Community Centre and FCJ Refugee Centre provide assistance and support to Roma and Mexican refugees. They have both been overwhelmed by phone calls from alarmed community members.

“This government is saying, None is too many, we don't want the Gypsies either” said Lynn Hutchinson, a board member of RCC.

The Press Conference will include the following speakers: William Bila–Vice President, Roma Community Centre; Francisco-Rico Martinez – Co-Director, FCJ Refugee Centre; Karolina Banomova – Czech Roma Activist; Leonardo Zuniga – Mexican Refugee/No One Is Illegal-Toronto Organizer and an additional Czech Refugee Claimant (anonymous)

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Media Contact:
Bill Bila, Roma Community Centre
Loly Rico, FCJ Refugee Centre – 416.399.5106 (cell); 416.469.9754 x 224