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Ontario Court of Appeals hears from Immigration Detainee Supporters

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On the morning of Wednesday May 6th, we packed the courthouse at the Ontario Court of Appeals for an important legal fight to end part of the injustice of immigration detention.

A group of detainees indefinitely imprisoned in Ontario filed an application in the Ontario Courts called a habeas corpus last December, challenging Canada to prove that their long term detention is justified. Michael Mvogo, one of the applicants, has been jailed for nearly 10 years. Glory Anawa, another one of the applicants, has been imprisoned for nearly two years. Her son, Alpha, was born in an immigration jail and has spent his entire life in prison. The Ontario Superior court recently declined to hear the application. On May 6th, lawyers for the detainees appealed the decision insisting that the Ontario courts must assert jurisdiction.

It was standing room only in the court as supporters of the fight to end immigration detention made it clear that Ontario needs to cease its collaboration with federal detention practises and to stop holding hundreds and thousands of immigrants in provincial jails.

As you may know, hundreds of migrants jailed indefinitely without trial or charge, have been waging a courageous struggle against immigration detentions and deportation in a max-security prison in Lindsay, Ontario since September 2013. These migrants, most of whom are Black men, have gone on hunger strike, boycotted their detention reviews, refused to enter their cells and organized despite the violence and alienation of prisons.

To support their struggle, the End Immigration Detention Network has organized rallies and petitions, gone to the United Nations, uncovered deep discrepancies in the detention review process and in December of last year launched a legal court challenge in Ontario’s provincial courts. In the months to come, we will also be turning our attention to the Ontario government that gets paid millions of dollars each year to support Harper’s anti-immigrant agenda, and imprison migrants without trial or charge.

Please sign this petition as we continue to fight for an end to immigration detention! https://www.change.org/p/harper-end-indefinite-immigration-detention