Kavoos Soofi immigrated to Canada from Iran in 2004 through a student visa. It expires every 2 years. In 2006, he renewed his visa and applied for refugee status. He was rejected outright and appealed through PRRA, a form of a pre-risk assessment format.
A few weeks ago, he went to get the results and the authorities said it was rejected again. They then told him to go to Ottawa to get his travel documents, and prepare to travel back to Iran. When he explained his situation would be dangerous in Iran, they arrested him and placed him in Rexdale Detention Center.
At first, they asked for three thousand in bail money, but then the rose it to twelve thousand dollars, finally denied him any release options whatsoever. Such a situation led Kavoos to go on a hunger strike. This led to the authorities to move him from Rexdale Detention Center to Toronto Metropolitan West Detention Center. They threatened him if he did not end his hunger strike, they would put him in the criminal section of their facility. “All his family and friends wish to do,” said his brother Kiomar Soofi, “is give Kavoos another chance. Stop his deportation,” continued Kiomar, while he looked at me. “We want his file reviewed again because we are extremely worried if he returns to Iran, there will be torture and it will be much worse.”
Kavoos Soofi has lived in Canada for 8 years, always legally worked and paid taxes. “He is a hard worker,” said his brother. “He created a job in the community. He has never been on welfare, or involved in criminal activity. He has lots of deep relationships with his friends and family. His friend, Medi Shams,” Kiomar pointed around him, “shut down his shop. All the last 2 weeks, Shams has been involved in the campaign to save his friend, our friend, my brother.”
“What else do you want to say right now,” I asked Kiomar, “What else do you feel you want to say that you could not say already?”
“As a Canadian,” he continued, “I came to Canada because Canada is a free country. And I expect my community and all Canadians, especially the government, immigration officers and judge who have behaved inhumanly. We respect any decision they make but there is new evidence which happened after 2009 which puts Kavoos’ life in more danger if he returns to Iran.”
There is a planned protest at 6900 Airport Road Immigration office @ 230pm on Tuesday January 31st. All is welcome.
An area businessman even stopped 100% his business activities at Sign & Print until February 7th. He offered his store at 6186 Yonge Street as the main quarter for this stop the Kavoos deportation campaign. Medi Shams can be reached at www.signandprint.ca , or you can call him at 416-512-9915.
Paul Collins, author of Mack Dunstan’s Inferno / Mystery of Everyman’s Way
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