Justice for Manuel Sanchez !
Call for Court Support & Solidarity
Monday, June 11, 2012
9:30AM – Federal Court, 30 rue McGill
Metro Square Victoria
Mexicans United for Regularization (MUR), Action LGBTQ for immigrants and refugees (AGIR), Solidarity Across Borders (SAB) denounce the decision of the Canadian government to proceed with the deportation of Mr. Manuel Sanchez, who came to Montreal to seek asylum in December 2008. A hearing at the Federal court will take place on Monday, June 11 at 9:30AM in order to plead for a stay of deportation as well as a judicial review of the decisions rejecting his applications to stay in Canada. We invite you to show your support for Manuel and stand in solidarity with his struggle to stop an imminent deportation.
Manuel Sanchez was forced to flee Mexico because of the constant threats, and physical and sexual aggression he suffered at the hands of a police officer (working with organized crime), who wouldn’t accept that Manuel had ended their relationship.
Despite this violence, Mr. Sanchez hesitated for some time before denouncing it, as the Mexican Police are well-known for homophobia. For this reason, he feared that his cry for help would fall on deaf ears, or worse, instead of being granted protection, it would expose him to more violence. His fears are well founded. In Mexico, police persecute and victimize the LBGT community: 30% of whom have suffered discrimination at the hands of police, and 20% have been physically assaulted by police. The obstruction of justice and the generalized impunity that reigns in Mexico, has acutely impacted sexual minorities who suffer in culture of repression that is illustrated by the number of people assassinated every year due to their sexual orientation.
The threats and aggression towards Manuel Sanchez continued (and even began to target his close circle of friends), and Manuel finally decided to submit a complaint to the authorities. When he did, he was clearly told that it was not going to be received because his aggressor was a police officer. This highlights the lack of rule of law in Mexico, as well as the impunity with which human rights violations are committed by police forces – a phenomenon recognized by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and many other human rights organizations. Moreover, the fact that the police officer worked with criminal groups to victimize Manuel shows that police forces are infiltrated by organized crime. « Manuel Sanchez has good reason to fear for his life if he has to return to Mexico. His aggressor can easily have him assassinated for the petty sum of 50 dollars, in full impunity » says Stewart Istvanffy, his lawyer.
Despite the evidence that points to the danger he faces if returned to Mexico, Canada has decided to deport Manuel Sanchez and maintains a false and unjustifiable opinion that Mexico can protect its citizens. This is symptomatic of Canada’s current lack of responsibility towards its international obligations, and a flagrant violation of asylum rights, also seen in the proposed Bill C-31. Since 2009, two Mexican women, who were refused asylum in Canada, were assassinated upon their return to Mexico.
For these reasons, we demand a stay of deportation for Manuel Sanchez, and that he be granted permanent resident status.
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