The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

UN demands release of man detained over immigration violations: lawyer

  • Print

TORONTO - A United Nations human rights monitoring group is calling for the immediate release of a man who has been languishing in a Canadian jail for more than eight years over immigration violations, a lawyer for the man said Thursday.

The call for Michael Mvogo's release is contained in an "opinion" about Canadian immigration detentions released by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions, a copy of which was emailed to Mvogo's lawyer, Macdonald Scott, last week.

Scott and a group of activists from the End Immigration Detention Network, who has been campaigning for Mvogo's release, delivered a copy of the document Thursday to immigration enforcement authorities in Toronto.

"We are hoping for good results that the Canada Border Services Agency will comply with international law and recommend Mr. Mvogo's release in the very near future," Scott said.

Mvogo, 46, was arrested in 2006, a year after he arrived in Canada on a forged American passport under the name of Andrea Walker.

He was dubbed the Man With No Name because authorities were unable to confirm his identity until early 2011, when Mvogo revealed his name and said he was a citizen of the African country of Cameroon. Efforts to deport him have been unsuccessful.

In its opinion, the Geneva-based UN group also called on the Canadian government to compensate Mvogo, saying the authorities have failed to demonstrate that his detention is necessary and proportionate.

"The inability of a state party to carry out the expulsion of an individual does not justify detention beyond the shortest period of time or where there are alternatives to detention, and under no circumstances indefinite detention," the document said.

Scott said that the rationale behind the group's opinion applies to over 60 long-term detention cases in this country.

A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney did not comment on Mvogo's case, but rejected the UN group's criticism.

"It is time the UN and its committees turn full attention to the true humanitarian crises of the world rather than spending time and resources scrutinizing modern, rights-based democracies," Jason Tamming said in an email to The Canadian Press.

Canada should release Mvogo, compensate him and release any immigrants detained for more than 90 days, said Scott.

"That should be followed by a thorough overhaul of the detention review process and an end to maximum security incarceration of migrants."

Tamming noted that Canada has a fair and generous immigration system that has consistently welcomed over 250,000 legal immigrants each year since 2006.

"It is reasonable that those who do not play by the rules and seek to take advantage of our generosity be detained and asked to leave," he said.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Jets This Week: Predicting the line-ups

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Two baby tigers were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo this morning, October 3rd, 2011. (TREVOR HAGAN/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • June 24, 2012 - 120624  -  Amusement riders on the last day of The Ex Sunday June 24, 2012.    John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Are you worried Ebola might make its way to Canada?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google