Immigration detainees on hunger strike

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About 60 immigration detainees are on a hunger strike at two Ontario prisons demanding to meet Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale.

“We would like immigration detention to end and something more fair or realistic be worked out,” Toby Clark, who has been in immigration detention since August 2014, said in a statement. “We would like to meet with MPs. To me, the way immigration detention is right now, it’s cruel and unusual punishment.

“If your country refuses to issue travel documents, some people are held months, some people are held years and there is nothing that they can do about their country not issuing travel documents. It’s sad that people are separated from their family in Canada for so long. They don’t get a second chance.”

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Sharmeen Khan, a member of End Immigration Detention Network, said in a statement that many of the detainees are already unwell and the hunger strike could put them in danger.

The CBSA has said it transfers detainees to jails when they are considered high risk. That includes detainees who have criminal backgrounds, outstanding charges, a history of violence, are an escape risk, or pose a danger to themselves or others. – CINEWS

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