Stay Alexander Kopylovs deportation sign now

Enforcement Officer
Greater Toronto Enforcement Officer
6900 Airport Road, Entrance "2B"
Mississauga, L4V 1E8
CANADA

Tel: 905.405.3500
Fax: 905.405.3533

15 January 2008

Dear Enforcement Officer,

Subject: URGENT! Request to stay the deportation of Mr. Alexander Kopylov. Client ID: 4457-0902

I am writing this letter to you to express my grave concern and outrage over the deportation notice issued to Mr. Alexander Kopylov for 23 January 2008.

As you know, Alexander is a critical and outspoken independent Russian journalist. He is a fervent spokesperson for human rights and democracy and has been widely cited in Russian and Canadian media for his views. His coverage of the military operations in Beslan (Osetia, Russia) that led to the death of 300 children jeopardized his continued stay in Russia forcing him to flee. His deportation to Russia would put his life in grave danger and be a gross violation of Canada's tradition of protecting refugees.

As a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, Canada is committed to "offer refugee protection to people in Canada who fear persecution or who may be at risk of torture or cruel and unusual treatment or punishment, and are unwilling or unable to return to their home country" (CIC Website). We urge you to ensure that Canadian integrity is not compromised. Alexander's deportation would be a contravention of Canada's constitutionally enshrined commitment to human rights.


Since his arrival, Alexander has been an active journalist blogger critiquing Putin's use of violence. He was featured on Global TV speaking against the present Russian government. This has greatly increased the risk to his life if he were to return. Since 2000, the Putin government has been involved in the murder of over sixty dissident journalists who dared to consistently challenge the oppressive regime (Committee to Protect Journalists; Glasnost Defense Foundation).

Even as a refugee claimant, Mr Kopylov has greatly contributed to the civic and cultural life of Canada. He was the President of the Russian Humanitarian House, a multiethnic community based non-profit organization, established by open voting of the Russian community of Montreal, and acting in its cultural and humanitarian interests.

Yet he has been detained intermittently for over a year in an effort to extort his consent, a necessary pre-condition for deportation to Russia. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has used internment as a mechanism of torture to force him to agree to put his life in danger. This is an abuse of correctional facilities in our country and a violation of the rights guaranteed not only by our own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but also by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and numerous other international and regional human rights treaties to which Canada is a party.

We urge you to put an immediate stay on Alexander Kopylov's removal, pending the Judicial Review of his second Pre-Removal Risk Assessment in Federal Court.


Thank you.

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