Dienstag, 4. Dezember 2007

Canada: Judge argues that U.S. don't meet refugee protection requirements

Federal court strikes down third-country refugee agreement (National Post)


The Federal Court of Canada has struck down an agreement that barred thousands of refugees from seeking refugee status in Canada, saying the U.S. does not meet international refugee protection requirements, nor does it respect international conventions against torture.

In a landmark 124-page ruling made public late Thursday afternoon, Justice Michael Phelan struck down the Safe Third Country Agreement, which had been used to stop prospective refugees from crossing the Canada-U.S. border, and part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection regulations which Mr. Phelan said violates Canada's Charter of Rights. [...]

Mr. Phelan also said the U.S. definition of terrorist activities can include those who never had any intention of contributing to terrorism.

"It is difficult to imagine how the governor in council could have reasonably concluded that the U.S. complies with the Refugee Convention when the law allows the exclusion of claimants who involuntarily provided support to terrorist groups. The terrorist exclusions are extremely harsh and cast a wide net which will catch many who never posed a threat. In returning claimants to the U.S. under these circumstances, the weight of the evidence is that Canada is exposing refugees to a serious risk of refoulement (return to danger) and torture which is contrary to the applicable articles of the Refugee Convention and the Convention Against Torture."

But while the court struck down the agreement, prospective refugees won't see any change right away. The court has yet to rule on the consequences that flow from the ruling and it is also possible that the ruling will be appealed. (Quelle: Nationalpost.com)

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