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Migrant Justice Groups Call for Overhaul of Immigration Detention after Secret Red Cross Report Released

September 29, 2014

Toronto - Migrant justice coalition the End Immigration Detention Network (EIDN) is calling for an end to maximum security imprisonment of immigrants without trial or charges after a secret Red Cross report on deplorable detention conditions became public. Since September 2013, over a 100 migrants in a maximum security prison in Lindsay, ON have been on a protest strike against their endless detentions, bogus judicial review processes and imprisonment in maximum security jails.

The Red Cross report found denial of family contact, increasing imprisonment of minors and children, violation of basic legal rights, worsening mental health in detention, and alternatives to detention as key areas of concern.


Syed Hussan, End Immigration Detention Network:
"Detainees are on strike, the UN has issued a condemnation, and now the Red Cross has joined a growing chorus of criticism against the inhumane, jailing of immigrants without trial or charge. The Canadian immigration detention systems is unjust, unfair and cruel. It must end. Canada should stop being a rogue state, end maximum security incarceration, release migrants after 90 days if they can't be deported and overhaul the entire judicial review system."

Macdonald Scott, End Immigration Detention Network:
"Detention is meant to be an interim process while a deportation order takes affect, but it has turned into a violent, brutal system that separates families, jails children and has drastic effects on mental health. As a result, Jan Szamko and Lucia Vega Jimenez died in detention and countless others are traumatized. Its time for change. We need to begin with the assumption that no one should not be detained without trial or charge, rather than move towards new technologies like GPS monitoring to continue taking away people's liberties".


Also, please see:

- United Nations opinion on Canadian immigration detention:

- Groundbreaking study of immigration detention in Canada:

- Backgrounder on 1-year long, and ongoing immigrant protest-strike:

For more information contact:
Syed Hussan
No One Is Illegal Toronto
Phone: 416-453-3632

Macdonald Scott
Phone: 647-761-3858

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